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divorce Archives

Gray divorce presents special financial challenges for couples

In North Carolina and across the US, the divorce rate for older individuals has been steadily increasing. In fact, a Pew Research study found that gray divorce, or divorce among couples ages 50 and older, has increased by 109 percent over the past 25 years. Meanwhile, the divorce rate for couples between the ages of 25 and 39 has dropped by 21 percent over the same period of time.

The unique factors of divorce among couples 50 and over

Most older spouses in North Carolina who've been together for many years seem like they're on fairly stable ground marriage-wise. However, divorce among Americans 50 and over has been dramatically on the rise over the past quarter century. In fact, divorce rates have either leveled off or fallen among other age groups. Also, more than half of all "gray divorces" involve couples who had been wed for 20 years or more.

Options for the marital home during divorce

When people in North Carolina make the decision to divorce, they may find it a difficult choice to leave the family home behind. This is especially true for parents who want to minimize disruption and changes for their children. However, as much as the marital home has significant sentimental value, it is also a major financial asset. Unlike bank accounts, retirement funds and similar properties, however, real estate cannot easily be separated into two pieces. This is why many divorcing couples choose to resolve the issue by putting the home on the market.

Planning for divorce after age 50

Spouses over age 50 who are considering divorce should understand that separation could impact their ability to retire. However, there are steps that a North Carolina resident can take to minimize the potential damage. The first step is to obtain financial paperwork such as copies of tax returns and bank statements. These documents will help to determine who is liable for a debt or who is entitled to an asset.

"Gray divorce" continues to rise

In North Carolina and across the country, a growing number of Americans are filing for divorce later in life. When people think of a couple deciding to legally separate, they may imagine young people with or without children. However, even as the divorce rate has held steady or declined for most demographics across the country, that rate has increased significantly for older Americans. Since 1990, the divorce rate for people 50 and over has doubled while that same rate has tripled for people 65 and older.

Research suggests certain wedding dates may not be so lucky

For couples planning to tie the knot in North Carolina, there are many important decisions to make, one of which is the actual date of the wedding. Some individuals insist on picking a wedding day they believe is "lucky" for one reason or another. However, researchers in Australia say that some popular wedding dates might not be so lucky after all.

Alimony tax changes could affect retirement as well

For people in North Carolina who will finalize their divorces in 2019, the impact of the new spousal support tax rules could have more far-reaching effects than they realize. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed in December 2017, put in place a significant change in how taxes will be handled in relation to alimony payments for all people who finalize their divorces after 2018 comes to an end. The changes have pushed many people to move to finalize their marital splits before the end of the year in order to retain their eligibility for the existing system.

Why divorcing in 2018 could be financially beneficial

For those living in North Carolina who are thinking of filing for divorce, it would be a good idea to consider the timing of the separation and how changing laws may affect the outcome. With the passage of the new tax code, some may find it more advantageous to finalize their divorce before 2019. To help make sense of the confusion, there are some important aspects to keep in mind.

North Carolina's legal separation period

Unlike other states, North Carolina has a very long period in which a couple must be legally separated before they can get a divorce. Specifically, a couple has to be legally separated for basically one year before a court can grant a final and permanent decree of dissolution.

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