The Law Offices of James A. Cuddy, LLC

Uncovering stones in "gray" divorces: Finances often loom large

A recent article in the New York Times discussing divorce for older people -- the so-called “gray divorce” demographic -- makes the very salient point that a key focus in many such decouplings needs to be on finances.

Although that is of course generally true for many divorcing couples in Connecticut and nationally, the need to fully identify and valuate money streams and income sources can be especially dire in baby boomer divorces. After all, many such separations come just on the cusp of retirement or well into it, when an equitable property division in a high-asset divorce or any other marital dissolution can be critically important.

In such a scenario, one executive with a national organization focused on family and marriage research stresses the importance to a divorcing spouse of “having a really good attorney and fighting for your fair share.”

That reasons for that are myriad and clear. For starters, and as one recently divorced boomer notes, “Your focus isn’t there.” In other words, the thought process of a person divorcing after what is often a decades-long marriage is often on things other than financial considerations.

And, candidly, there is much to think about when thoughts do turn to economic-related matters. In many long-tenured marriages, finances can be complex and convoluted, with one spouse often not fully knowing the details regarding wealth sources and what types of assets constitute marital property that is subject to equitable distribution between divorcing partners.

In many gray divorces, retirement income is of huge importance, and it can be forthcoming from multiples sources. Those potentially include deferred compensation, pensions, stock options, bonds and other assets.

Finding all those sources of income, accurately noting their worth and securing their equitable division between divorcing spouses is a central role of a proven family law and property division lawyer.

An experienced Connecticut divorce attorney well-versed in property distribution matters can provide further information.

Source: The New York Times, "Retirement plans thrown into disarray by a divorce," Constance Gustke, June 27, 2014

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