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Gray divorce items to consider

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2022 | Family Law

People in all age ranges might file for divorce. The assumption that older persons won’t seek a separation from their spouses is incorrect, as many “gray divorces” occur each year. A gray divorce refers to a dissolution affecting two people over age 50. While several steps in the divorce process remain the same regardless of the partners’ ages, a gray divorce might come with issues that shouldn’t be overlooked in a Virginia family court.

Added concerns with a gray divorce

Financial concerns exist with virtually anyone planning to divorce. However, an older person could feel additional worries since retirement age might not be far away. Building up a decent nest egg may help someone during their golden years. So, divorce settlement negotiations may involve seeking an appropriate alimony figure, along with equitable property distribution.

Tax implications might exist with alimony payments. Recipients might not face any requirements to pay taxes on alimony, but the payer may have a higher tax bill. The law changed in 2018, and payers no longer receive any tax deductions for maintenance paid.

Tax issues could extend to previous tax debts. If both spouses signed a joint return, they would both owe any tax balances. The IRS does provide some relief options for “innocent” or “injured” spouses, but the spouse must qualify for the relief.

Estate planning and gray divorces

Estate planning involves crafting documents such as a will, health care proxy, or power of attorney form. When someone divorces, several steps might become vital to adjust any estate planning documents, including directing attention to any accounts with “transfer on death” designations. After a gray divorce, leaving an ex-spouse as a beneficiary might be unwise.

Re-reviewing estate plans might be a priority for divorcing couples. Ultimately, a gray divorce could be more involved than some believe.