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Protect retirement funds in a gray divorce

For some California couples, entering into the golden years of retirement together sounds like a dream come true. However, in some cases, other couples may think spending all their time together now that they are no longer working seems more like a nightmare. Now more than ever before, older couples are deciding to call it quits and see a divorce.

"Gray divorce," for those couples over 50, has become a growing trend in the past two decades. In fact, a leading research firm has reported that, among adults over 50, the divorce rate has doubled since the 1990s. For those adults over age 65, the divorce rate has actually tripled during the same time period. Yet, for younger adults, the divorce rate is lower. For those approaching retirement years, experts recommend ways to safeguard accounts during a divorce.

One important thing to consider is how retirement funds are handled. Without a properly executed QDRO, or Qualified Domestic Relations Order, someone would have to pay penalties or taxes if they simply transferred money into an IRA. Another major topic of discussion should be the family home. Someone may believe it is critical to maintain possession of this asset. However, market factors and hefty expenses for maintenance and upkeep may make keeping the home a disadvantage.

Regardless what age a couple is, a divorce can be a stressful process. A California divorce attorney can help alleviate that stress by walking through every step of the legal process with a client. An experienced lawyer will work with individuals to obtain a favorable outcome in the divorce proceedings.

Source: The Washington Post, "A 'gray divorce' can devastate your retirement plans. Here's how.", Michelle Singletary, March 26, 2018

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