Much has been written in recent years about the so-called “grey divorce” trend. As the baby boomer generation ages more couples over 50 are getting divorced. Divorce late in life raises special issues, especially when it comes to property division.
For many older Colorado couples, retirement accounts are one of their most significant assets. Dividing these accounts requires an understanding of the federal laws which govern them. A family court judge will often order a retirement account split, with a share of the funds awarded to the other spouse. Under federal law, this requires entry of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order by the state court judge hearing the divorce case. Once the QDRO is entered, it must be approved by the plan administrator, who will then open a new account with the other spouse as alternate payee.
Social Security benefits are another issue which is important to older spouses going through a divorce. If certain requirements are met a divorced spouse can collect Social Security retirement or disability benefits based on the work history of the other spouse. To collect these benefits, the spouse seeking a share of the benefits must be at least 62 years old and currently unmarried, and the former marriage must have lasted at least 10 years.
At the Longmont, Colorado law firm, the attorneys have extensive experience with property valuation and division issues. Many older spouses have been assisted with navigating navigate the difficult waters of divorce after many years of marriage. For more information please see the firm’s web page.