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Division of Assets in a Gray Divorce

In 1990, the divorce rate for people over 50 was only one in 10; by 2008, this rate had risen to one in four. Researchers attribute this increase in gray divorce to longer life spans, the fact that more women have their own financial resources and the value the baby boomer generation places on self-fulfillment. While child custody is often the most difficult issue to resolve for couples with young children, the division of marital property can be complicated for older divorcing spouses who have acquired significant assets and investments over the course of their working lives.

Older people who are planning to divorce should speak to a qualified divorce attorney about the following:

  • Real estate. The family residence often represents a significant portion of the family assets, but selling the property and dividing the proceeds may not be a wise choice in a bad housing market.
  • Retirement funds. The law considers pension plans, 401(k) plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and other compensation packages marital property. You may need a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) to ensure that all retirement assets, including non-divisible funds, are calculated and divided in an equitable manner.
  • Business assets. If the value of your business increased during your marriage, this may also be included in the marital assets that are subject to division. It might be wise to consult with a financial planner about your best options for keeping or selling your business.
  • Estate planning. Review your current estate plan and make any desired changes to wills and designated beneficiaries.

If you are over 50 and contemplating divorce, contact an experienced Texas divorce attorney about the best ways to protect your short- and long-term financial security.

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Robert Reid McInvale
Attorney at Law

Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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