Any time a couple from California or other parts of the country decide to end a marriage, there are always many issues to discuss. Certainly, these issues are more complicated when the couple has been married for many years. Research shows that the divorce rate for couples over the age of 50 has essentially doubled in the past two decades. With so many couples facing a so-called gray divorce, experts have identified some of the most common questions they must address.

Depending on the length of a marriage, someone may be able to receive Social Security benefits based on an ex-spouse’s work record. However, if a person gets remarried, he or she would not be entitled to those benefits. When a pension is involved, the administrator of the plan should be notified of the divorce. A QDRO, or Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is required in to transfer to proceeds without penalties or tax consequences.

Health insurance is a hot button topic for most Americans, whether they are going through a divorce or not. However, for older couples who are splitting up, it can create a financial burden. If one spouse was covered by the other’s group plan at work, it will be much more expensive to replace that same amount and type of coverage. Likewise, many long-term care policies may have been purchased jointly and there may not be options to make them individual.

It is imperative to seek the advice of a California lawyer when a divorce is imminent. No matter what the couple’s age or how long a marriage has lasted, trusted counsel is invaluable throughout the legal proceedings. A knowledgeable attorney will help guide individuals through the complexities of the entire divorce.