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Financial considerations for older couples going through divorce

People in Colorado who are older than 65 and considering a divorce may be dealing with more than just the emotional issues involved. For example, the American Association of Retired Persons reports that ending a marriage at that age will affect someone's needs for financial assistance through programs such as Medicare and Social Security.

A recent report from Bowling Green State University supports that statement. In a study, researchers studied "gray divorce," or divorce among older Americans. According to the findings, people going through separations later in life are more likely than younger divorcing couples to encounter financial problems. Researchers report the following: 

  • People going through a gray divorce have half the wealth of their peers who are widowed.
  • Older Americans in these situations average just 20 percent of the finances of married peers.
  • The risk of becoming impoverished increases when people go through a gray divorce.

Under Colorado law, people may qualify for either short- or long-term spousal maintenance payments. The longer a couple was married, the longer a spouse may be ordered to pay the other support. While these are largely viewed as rehabilitative payments, they can help people get back on their feet following a gray divorce.

Experts recommend that anyone going through divorce at any age should consult financial professionals. For example, Bankrate.com points out that tax and business specialists may be helpful for couples ending their marriages. Going to battle for assets such as Social Security retirement accounts, traditional retirement accounts and pension may be time-consuming but can be worth it.

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