Law Offices of Meridith A. Gregory, LLC

Are you prepared for a gray divorce?

Ideas about marriage seem to be changing all the time, and people in Massachusetts seem to be becoming increasingly confident in what they want -- and do not want -- from their marriages. For some, this means filing for divorce after years or even decades of marriage. While there is no age limit on ending an unhappy marriage, those over the age of 50 may have additional concerns that their younger peers might not worry about.

Retirement is one of the biggest worries for those in a gray divorce. Even if a couple diligently stashed away money for this period in life, a sum that was intended to only support a single household might not stretch as far when it has to be divided and used to support two separate households. Additionally, if one person worked while the other spouse did not, he or she might feel angry about having to divide the retirement funds. On the other hand, those who did not work could feel worried that they will not have enough to live on in the future.

Figuring out how to split retirement assets is only one small part of a much bigger process -- property division. Unlike divorces that come after only a few years of marriage, gray divorces tend to have decades of marriage behind them. Untangling marital assets can be much more complicated and often requires professional input or guidance.

Some adults will also need to make arrangements for health insurance coverage during divorce proceedings. While a person who is covered by the spouse's employer-provided insurance can retain that coverage during the divorce proceedings, it will be terminated as soon as the process is finalized. Since many major health concerns tend to emerge later in life, addressing health insurance issues early on is a good idea.

Divorce is an emotional process no matter what a person's age. However, it is also a legal process. Those facing these issues in Massachusetts should do their best to stay focused on the proceedings, including property division, to ensure that their financial security after divorce is not compromised.

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