Tips for Couples Going Through Gray Divorces

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Divorce is never easy regardless of what stage of life a couple is in. However, it is particularly challenging when the decision to divorce comes later in life. One reason is the division of a lifetime of assets that have been accumulated over years of being together. To add to the difficulty for those considering divorce later in life is the disruption of retirement goals already in place. It is a difficult and emotional time.

Here are some tips from an experienced San Antonio divorce attorney to consider if you are going through a “gray divorce.”

One important thing to consider is your retirement, since some of your expectations may need to be changed after giving your former spouse his or her portion of the community savings. It might be necessary to revisit the goals and dreams you have from both a financial and emotional standpoint. Perhaps there will need to be a massive overhaul of your plans and in some cases only a minor alteration. Whichever it is, you need to be realistic about what you can accomplish since your financial situation has changed.

Regardless of whether you are retired or still working, it will probably be necessary to adjust your spending habits, savings habits and your future goals. If you do not have a financial planner, it may be a good time to consult with one to help you reassess your new situation.

If you are over the age of 65 and receiving social security benefits, it is important that you have a basic understanding of how a divorce can impact your benefits. This is especially relevant where the social security benefits might be your only source of income.

For persons 62 years of age and older who were married for more than 10 years, you can collect benefits based on your former spouse’s earnings if the benefits based on your personal work record are less. You can receive these benefits even if he or she remarries. Basically, if both of you worked you can get benefits based on the other person’s work record if it is higher. Receiving benefits of a former spouse will not reduce the amount your former spouse gets. Even if you never worked, you are eligible to collect benefits based upon your former spouse’s work record.

Obviously, the longer you can wait to receive divorced spousal benefits the better, up to full retirement age, since the longer you wait the higher your benefits will be.

Upon the death of your former spouse, you may be eligible for 100% of his or her benefits if you were married for 10 years or more, you are 60 years old or older and you are not entitled to benefits equal to or greater than your former spouse.

If you are considering a gray divorce or have other questions about the impact of divorcing later in life, you need to seek advice from a San Antonio attorney who is experienced in all phases of Texas family law.

The Law Offices of Allan R. Manka, P.C. in San Antonio have over 60 years of combined experience handling a wide variety of family law matter for thousands of Texans. We proudly represent the servicemen and servicewomen at Lackland and Randolph Air Force Bases as well as the citizens of San Antonio and the surrounding areas, including Bexar County, New Braunfels, Seguin, and Pleasanton.

Contact us through our website or call us direct at (210) 824-1800 for a confidential, no obligation consultation. You can also reach us 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at (866) 621-7085 toll free.

We take all major credit cards, debit cards and have several reasonable payment plans.

Other Resources:

Going Through A Gray Divorce? Focus On Your Retirement Savings , Huffington Post, Article by Suzanna de Baca, January 9, 2013

Social Security and Divorce , AARP, Article by Sally Abrahms, June 4, 2012

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