Although couples who divorce later in life generally do so for the same reasons as younger couples, older couples need to be aware of the following unique issues that impact their demographic.
Dividing retirement plans between older couples can be complicated and sometimes requires a separate court order called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order that covers how the benefits will be divided. When it comes to gray divorce, you should request a copy of the Summary Plan Description to determine when you can receive distributions without incurring tax penalties and if you can obtain survivor benefits if your spouse dies. You should also inquire if you can get a hardship withdrawal if you need help becoming financially independent.
While Social Security benefits are not treated as assets that can be divided, the rules about these benefits can impact your post-divorce income. If your marriage lasted 10 years or longer and you're 62 or older, you can collect retirement benefits on your ex-spouse's Social Security record, without reducing their benefits. Additionally, you might be able to draw up to 50% of your ex-spouse's benefit. After you have been divorced for at least two years you can claim benefits through your ex-spouse, even if your ex doesn’t meet eligibility requirements to receive Social Security benefits.
We Proudly Handle Grey Divorce Cases
At Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A, we are committed to helping senior clients navigate each phase of their divorce. We know that divorce matters can be emotionally draining and stressful, which is why we offer a wide range of comprehensive divorce services to help clients who need to divorce later in life. We have a stellar reputation for aggressively defending our clients' best interests, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us so we can put our skills to work for you.