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Gray divorce involves special considerations

If you are among the many Texas residents navigating their way through a divorce later in life, know that you are not alone. Couples over the age of 50 are now divorcing at increasingly high rates, and divorcing later in life often involves special considerations you may not face if you divorce at an earlier age.

Per Kiplinger, the divorce rate among couples over 50 has about doubled since the 1990s, with many married couples finding that, once children have left the family home, spouses have little in common without them. Others find that they are used to spending a certain amount of time by themselves and with their partners, but, should one or both parties in the marriage retire, the constant togetherness can lead to arguments and problems. Regardless of your reasoning for divorcing your husband or wife later in life, know that doing so involves unique issues and considerations with regard to:

Retirement accounts

If you are divorcing after age 50, you and your spouse will likely have to divide what you have in your retirement accounts between you. Keep in mind that, should you have assets in a 401(k) or a traditional IRA, you will have to pay taxes on the amount when you withdraw. Additionally, if you are not yet 59.5 when you withdraw money from these accounts, you can anticipate having to pay a 10 percent early-withdrawal penalty.

Spousal maintenance

As an older person going through a divorce, you are more likely than your younger divorcing counterparts to have to request or pay spousal maintenance, or alimony. If your marriage lasted a long time, and either you or your spouse sacrificed a career for the sake of the family, or for the other partner's professional advancement, you may end up paying or receiving spousal maintenance.

These are just two of the many special considerations involved in gray divorce. Ultimately, the steps you will need to take to end your marriage will likely differ from those taken by, say, your neighbor. However, you may be able to save yourself money in the long run by making sure you fully understand the value of your specific assets before starting divorce proceedings.

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