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Property division in gray divorce cases

Divorce cases in Texas and around the country involving older couples are often quite amicable as potentially contentious issues like child custody and support are rarely a factor. Spouses who are 50 years of age or older sometimes seek quick divorces because they have grown tired of one another, but the desire to move on with their lives as rapidly as possible can sometimes leave them unprepared for hastily arranged property division discussions.

This can be a costly mistake as the matters discussed during these negotiations can be crucially important to spouses approaching their retirement years, and these situations are becoming more common as the data reveals that the divorce rate among older Americans has more than doubled since the 1990s. Most experts suggest that older couples spend more and not less time preparing for property division talks as their marital estates are likely to be complex and involve multiple retirement accounts as well as real estate holdings and other complex assets.

During property division talks, spouses sometimes opt to take a simple approach and divide assets equally, but this can be a costly error when retirement accounts are involved and tax penalties could be incurred. Older spouses may also be wise to consider their retirement needs carefully before trading away higher alimony payments for assets with high sentimental value but only modest financial worth.

Divorce negotiations can also be influenced by changes in the nation's tax laws. Experienced family law attorneys may pay close attention to these developments, such as changes to the way spousal support is treated that go into effect in 2019, and they could suggest that all of the parties involved take them into consideration before establishing their positions. Attorneys may also suggest disposing of assets like large homes that are costly to maintain and could cause financial hardships during retirement.

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