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Complex asset division could be part of a "grey divorce"

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Many of our Maryland readers have probably seen previous posts here regarding the rise in so-called "grey divorce." For those who haven't, this social phenomenon describes the increase in the divorce rate among older couples, usually including those who are 50-years-old and over. There is a great deal of speculation as to why this increase is occurring, but there is little debate that the impact of this rise in the divorce rate will affect millions of Americans.

And, according to a recent report, the issue may be more prevalent than previously thought. A recent report noted that for couples in the 60-65 age range, the divorce rate has tripled over the last 25 years. For couples over the age of 65, the divorce rate is about five times greater than it was in 1990.

Beyond the social impact that this increase in divorce could have on American society, the couples involved will usually have a much more immediate concern: asset division. By the time a couple reaches their 60's, most will have accumulated a lifetime of assets, including pensions, property interests and business assets. As a result, the couples must usually go through a more complex asset division process that comes with a high asset divorce.

If a couple can divorce amicably, there is the potential that this kind of asset division problem could be avoided altogether. This is especially true if the couple have a prenuptial agreement. However, most couples will probably find themselves in a dispute over who gets what, while others will need to go through an asset valuation process in order to determine what exactly they own, what it is worth - and how to split it.

Source: KSL.com, "Divorce rates skyrocketing among older couples," Mary Richards, April 1, 2014

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