Gray divorce and property division: Two things to know

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2022 | Divorce

The property division determination portion of a divorce is particularly difficult for high net-worth couples. In addition to a primary home and retirement assets, these couples often have to account for business interests, trusts, and other complex financial investments. This can become even more difficult with age. As we become more mature, our wealth continues to accumulate and can include more complex assets.

How common is later in life divorce?

Of all generations, the Gen Zers, Millennials, Gen Xers, and Boomers, divorce is most common amongst those over the age of 50. Since the 1990s, divorce within this age group has doubled. Experts predict this trend of gray divorce to continue to grow an additional one-third before 2030.

Why is asset division more difficult for this group of divorcees?

As noted above, the presence of complicated assets is more likely. These can include:

  • Retirement accounts. Couples often accumulate these assets, and those who are 50 and over may have put in decades worth of savings and investments. A failure to follow applicable tax laws can result in unforeseen consequences and hefty fees.
  • Business ownership. One partner may wish to retain business interests, leading to negotiations about valuation and another asset or set of assets that could constitute a suitable trade.
  • Tangible property. Other forms of tangible property like heirlooms, art, and jewelry can also require care when splitting during divorce.

These couples are also more likely to have marital agreements like prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. These legal tools can help guide the division of assets during divorce, but one partner may challenge the legitimacy of the agreement. If the agreement was not properly executed, the court may find it invalid and not abide by its terms during the divorce.