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Limiting the financial hit of a gray divorce: Part 2

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In the first post in this two-part series, we talked about one of the things that could put an older individual in a particularly tough financial position following a divorce: asset hiding by their spouse. Another thing that could have very negative financial implications for a person in a gray divorce is not being careful enough when it comes to what is ultimately in a settlement they reach when it comes to property division.

Fear of the stress of a divorce could lead to an older individual just wanting to get the whole process over and done with. Such a desire could tempt them to take shortcuts when it comes to financial issues in the divorce, such as just looking at the overall on-paper value of a divorce settlement offer when deciding if the offer is fair.

However, when it comes to whether a given divorce settlement would ultimately be in line with a person's future goals, the on-paper value is hardly the only relevant factor. So too is what specific types of property are in the settlement.

Different types of property, even if they have relatively the same on-paper value, could prove very different in how financially helpful they would be for an individual over 50 in the future. This is because different assets can vary considerably when it comes to how easy they are to sell (their liquidity), the tax issues related to them, whether they gain or lose value over time and what costs are associated with maintaining the asset.

The asset make-up of the property division arrangement that is ultimately reached in their divorce can matter greatly for a person in a gray divorce. Thus, ignoring this set of details when it comes to negotiations could lead to an older divorcing person ending up with a divorce settlement that isn't actually in their best interests when it comes to the future.

Therefore, among the things an individual may want an experienced attorney's help with, during a gray divorce, is determining what different types of property are in the marital estate (and the unique aspects of each of these assets) and the property division settlement that would be best-aligned with their interests.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Gray Divorce: What Women Who Divorce Later in Life Need to Know," Debbie Carlson, July 21, 2016

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