When you married your spouse, you two likely had dreams of growing old together. Yet, as you find yourselves past 50, heading toward your golden years, your union may be on the rocks. After your children left home, you might have grown apart. Or, infidelity or addiction may have rocked your marriage after years of apparent bliss. No matter the case, you must prepare for the challenges posed by a grey divorce, especially those impacting your finances.
During your marriage, you and your spouse may have acquired many valuable assets together. As you divorce, a judge will divide these following Maryland’s equitable distribution laws. The percentage of assets you each receive will depend upon your individual circumstances. While these shares will be fair, they may not be equal.
Keep in mind that any assets you acquired before your marriage count as separate property. Unless you commingled them with marital property, they are indivisible in your divorce.
Splitting retirement accounts
You may hold retirement accounts – or a pension – in your name alone. Yet, you may have established these during your marriage. If you did, they qualify as marital property and you will have to divide them with your spouse when you two divorce. To split these, you must fill out a qualified domestic relations order. This order will give your spouse rights to a portion of the funds in your accounts. And they will receive distributions from them in the manner you two agree upon.
You might decide that you want to hold onto your retirement accounts at the expense of other assets. In this case, you may be able to retain complete ownership in exchange for giving your spouse property of equal value.
When long-term marriages end in Maryland, alimony is often part of the divorce settlement. Many divorces in the state end with awards for rehabilitative alimony. Yet, if you and your spouse are approaching retirement age, they may not have the time or ability to make ends meet on their own. In this case, you may have to provide them indefinite alimony, which could last until one of you dies.
The economic ramifications of a grey divorce may worry you. Yet, you have ways to work toward a fair settlement that will still allow you financial security. An attorney can help you figure out your options for protecting yourself.