Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Gray divorce and property division

Worcester, Massachusetts, residents may assume that every divorce case is unique and that every situation is different. That may be true; however, divorce cases can be similar when it comes to property division because couples who file for divorce need to resolve that issue.

In Massachusetts, dividing marital property can be one of the most important parts of the divorce proceedings wherein all marital assets and property obtained during the marriage should be identified and evaluated in order to distribute it equitably. Conversely, there are other issues that should be taken into account when it comes to property division, particularly in gray divorces.

Gray divorces may involve different issues; frequently not only the marital assets but also the financial stability of the parties is at stake. This may impact property division as well.

In gray divorces, retirement plans, 401k and pension benefits can also be big issues. These three assets can be divided between the spouses and may cause conflicts, especially if one spouse is about to approach retirement age. Social security benefits may also be considered. Although social security benefits cannot be divided, the benefits can impact the financial stability of the retiring spouses.

Another asset is the residential home. In the past, keeping the house was considered an advantage yet with today's economy, keeping the residential home may mean more expenses and financial obligations after the divorce. A careful analysis should be made prior to determining whether or not to keep a marital property.

One important issue in gray divorces is spousal support or alimony. Spouses in their 50s may have little chance of getting a job after the divorce, which is why including alimony in the divorce settlement is essential.

For divorcing couples over 50, ending the marriage may cause a huge financial impact. Division of assets and marital properties may decrease their financial stability and delay their retirement. Taking into consideration the issues that affect the financial stability of those involved in a gray divorce is extremely important.

Source: Huffingtonpost, "The Gray Divorce," Henry Gornbein, Mar. 6, 2013

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