According to Kiplinger, the divorce rate for Americans over the age of 50 has more than doubled in the past decade. While the divorce rates for other age groups have been on the decline, as many as one in four individuals going through a U.S. divorce are 50-years-of-age or older. More than half of all older couples who wish to divorce have been together for 20 years or more. If you are about to embark on a gray divorce in South Carolina, you are not alone. However, that does not mean that you should take the process lightly. Before you begin the process, there are several considerations you should make, several of which involve your finances.
First and foremost, know that a judge is likely to distribute your retirement accounts 50/50. To prevent the tax implications of early withdrawal, you may want to consider using a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.
In addition to having to split your retirement, you may also have to pay alimony. South Carolina judges almost always award some form of alimony after long-term marriages. Typically, if a marriage lasted for 20 years or more, the judge is likely to award alimony for life. That said, the judge may use the higher earner’s pension plan to offset alimony.
You should also prepare for the fact that the judge will likely value and split your home. If you wish to keep the family home, make sure you have or will have the means to maintain it and pay the costs associated with ownership, such as taxes, mortgage and utilities.
Finally, plan for the future. If you wish to remarry, think about entering into a premarital contract before doing so. This can help you plan for and even avoid the monetary issues associated with a future divorce.
You should not use this article for legal advice. It is for your educational purposes only.