Most divorcing couples, especially those that have children, will need to resolve issues like child custody, spousal support payments, and child support upon legal separation. For couples who are above the age of 50, however, the issues that are most common are very unique. Often colloquially referred to as “grey divorce,” middle-aged and older couples who are divorcing require the representation of a Massachusetts divorce attorney who understands distinctive divorce dilemmas couples in this age range face. Attorney Michael F. Mimno, Family Law Specialist, can help. The following reviews unique issues in grey divorce:
Division of Retirement Benefits and Social Security
Couples who are age 50 and above will often have questions about the division of retirement and Social Security benefits. Because the division of property and assets in a divorce in Massachusetts must be equitable, all retirement benefits may be considered. This includes, but is not limited to:
- 401(k) benefits;
- Pension plans;
- Profit-sharing plans;
- Employee stock plans; and
- Personal plans.
Per federal law, Social Security benefits cannot be divided in a divorce. However, a divorced spouse may be able to receive one-half of their ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits if they were married for 10 years or more.
Spousal Support Orders
Alimony is another common issue in grey divorce. Because many couples who are seeking a grey divorce have been together for many years, the alimony amount that a judge awards may be much higher than it would be for a younger couple. Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 124 Section 49, the court “may order alimony for an indefinite length of time for marriages for which the length of the marriage was longer than 20 years.” On the other hand, a person in a marriage that only lasted up to five years is only eligible to receive alimony for a duration that is equal to one-half the number of months of marriage.
Division of Sentimental Items, Property
Finally, couples in a grey divorce usually do not have to worry about child support or child custody disagreements. However, it is not uncommon for there to be concerns or disputes about the division of sentimental family items and property. An attorney can advocate on your behalf to ensure that a property division order issued by a judge is equitable and just.
Consult with a Massachusetts Family Law Specialist Today
If you are considering or have decided upon a divorce and you are over age 50, you will face unique issues. To help you understand these issues, mitigate conflict, and negotiate a fair divorce settlement, consult with a Massachusetts family law specialist. The attorneys at the Law Office of Michael F. Mimno can advocate for you. Call us at 978-470-4567 to schedule a consultation now.