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Common Mistakes Made in Gray Divorces

While divorce rates for the general population have been on the decline for some time now, divorce rates for people age 50 or older have been skyrocketing. Often referred to as “gray divorce,” these divorces between older couples have some special considerations due the demographics of those involved.

With these divorces becoming more common, it is important for older divorcing couples to be aware of some of the most common mistakes made in gray divorces. Here are just a few examples.

  • Trying too hard to hold on to the home: Don’t make decisions about your family home based on nostalgia and comfort. You need to consider whether you are truly financially capable of taking on the home by yourself. If you’ve already paid off your mortgage it might be more feasible, but you should still consider upkeep, property taxes and repairs.
  • Not understanding your financial picture: How much money do you still owe in debts? What is the total value of your assets? What does your investment and retirement portfolio look like? It’s common for one spouse to be much more involved in these areas than the other, so if you have not kept up with this information it’s crucial you get caught up so you can negotiate fair terms of your divorce.
  • Issues with retirement accounts: If you fund a new IRA with your share of your ex’s retirement account and then take withdrawals before age 59-1/2, you’ll still be required to pay the 10 percent early withdrawal. Make sure to get professional advice about how to handle retirement accounts during your divorce.
  • Supporting adult children: It’s understandable to want to help your kids, but after a divorce at an advanced age you’ll need to make sure you have enough money to retire first and foremost.

For more information about some of the common mistakes and challenges associated with gray divorces, contact an experienced Minnesota divorce lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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