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Property division in gray divorce sure to be traumatic experience

Between 1990 and 2010, divorces involving spouses over the age of 50 are said to have doubled. These divorces -- also called gray divorces -- are no longer frowned upon, and many divorced seniors go on to marry again. However, certain aspects that may impact on the post-divorce lives of seniors may need thorough consideration. Property division after 20 or 30 years of marriage will never be an easy task to accomplish.

Under Texas Law, a divorcing spouse may ask the court to order spousal support. It is not uncommon for couples to divorce after many years of marriage, and the length of time for which spousal support is ordered is typically based on the number of years the marriage lasted. However, it is not income upon which an ex-spouse can permanently rely, because the court-ordered support can be subject to time limits. The court may order payments to stop when the receiving spouse becomes self-sufficient after a reasonable period.

Retirement funds are also subject to division, and divorcing spouses may find themselves with only half of the funds they planned to use for retirement and little time to accumulate more. It is not uncommon for one spouse to offer, for instance, a larger portion of the retirement fund in exchange for a lower alimony or spousal support obligation. Such deals may have unfavorable tax implications and may call for professional advice.

Decisions related to the family residence can also have an impact on the life of the person who chooses to keep the home. Selling a home and dividing the money may be wiser than keeping a home and giving up an equal value of other assets to the other spouse. Post-divorce financial resources may already be stretched and adding maintenance, property taxes and other ongoing costs associated with maintaining a home can be detrimental to a financial stability of a newly divorced person. These are but a few of the issues that need extra attention when divorcing after many years of marriage. It is often suggested that important decisions about property division and other issues in a divorce are best made with the guidance of an experienced Texas divorce attorney.

Source: money.usnews.com, "7 Things to Know About Divorcing During Your Senior Years", Maryalene LaPonsie, Accessed on Oct. 16, 2015

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