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Divorce in Texas for Older Adults

The Collin County Law Group June 8, 2020

“Gray divorce,” the term for divorce among older adults, carries certain challenges because while younger people may have decades in the workplace to recover financially, this age group generally does not. Some may already be retired. They may need to plan carefully so that they have financial stability after the divorce.

Knowing what the assets and debts in the marriage are as well as what individual property is owned by each person is important. Such assets as jewelry, vehicles and art may need to be appraised. Rules for dividing retirement accounts vary depending on the type of account. Some people may be concerned that a spouse could try to hide assets. They may want to discuss with an attorney what steps can be taken to prevent this.

In addition to understanding their marital finances, people also need to know what their lifestyle will be like after the divorce. Some people may want to travel or start a foundation. Some may be focused on working within their community. Some people may need to set aside six to twelve months in easily accessed emergency savings while others may want to be able to help their children or grandchildren with their education or other expenses. There may also be paperwork to take care of after divorce, including retitling assets and revising the estate plan.

Since Texas is a community property state, marital property is supposed to be divided equally in a divorce. This does not necessarily mean that every asset must be divided 50/50, and some couples may be able to negotiate solutions that suit them better. For example, each person might take certain investments and other assets that are roughly equal. They should make sure they account for taxes and any other costs associated with selling assets or making withdrawals when looking at their value.