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Factors That Need to be Considered in a Gray Divorce

What is a Gray divorce? One after age 50 of course. What special considerations should those going through a Gray divorce consider? Here is our list of topics that must be addressed in a Gray divorce:

1. Health insurance—how long can you get it through your spouse's policy? What are the cobra benefits available and what do they cost? When are you eligible for Medicare? When is your spouse eligible?

2. Social Security—when can you begin taking social security? What will the monthly amount be? How would a remarriage effect your benefits?

3. Health concerns of both spouses—this is particularly relevant with respect to the payment of maintenance or alimony but it may also become an issue if you want to divorce and your partner is unable of taking care of himself/herself without your assistance. Long term care insurance goes hand in hand with this topic as well. Do you have it? Can you get it?

4. Dividing pensions/retirement plans—how/when can your spouse's pension be divided? If it is a defined contribution plan where will the funds be rolled over to? When can you begin taking withdraws? What are the penalties for early withdraw?

5. Estate planning—what will your estate plan look like post-divorce? You will very likely have to have your entire estate plan redone as soon as you are legally divorced.

6. Working longer – will you have to work longer because of your late life divorce? If you planned to be sharing expenses until death do you part working longer? Going back to work may be a reality for you with a late life divorce.

7. Credit eligibility—if all loans and credit cards were in your spouse's name you may have trouble obtaining credit. You may also not be able to refinance the marital home into your own name due to your age and lack of income.

8. Downsizing—Oftentimes a Gray divorce involves downsizing. If you are divorcing later in life think about what you really need once you will be on your own. It is highly likely you don't need as big of a house or you may not need to own a home at all.