Commonly referred to as a “gray divorce,” marital breakups between couples at least 50 years of age have increased. According to the Pew Research Center, older couples divorced nearly twice as often as younger couples since the 1990s.
As reported by Everyday Health, U.S. divorces involve more than 25% of individuals over 50. At least half of these marital breakups take place between couples married for 20 years or more. With their long-term marriages, divorcing couples may own complex assets that require a careful review before dividing.
Marital asset division in a Minnesota gray divorce
According to Section 518.58 of Minnesota’s statutes, divorcing couples may find their marital assets divided through an equitable and just system. The court may consider the length of a marriage when deciding property division. A judge may also review each spouse’s health, occupation and income sources.
If a spouse did not contribute funds to purchase shared assets, a judge may consider the economic value of his or her other contributions. Child-rearing or assisting a spouse with a small business, for example, could reflect a financial value based on the benefit made to a shared household.
Checklists and fair division discussions
Before a judge determines a fair settlement, couples may attempt to negotiate a fair division on their own. As reported by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, preparing a detailed checklist of all properties and debts could help spouses discuss their settlement before they enter a courtroom.
Financial statements and tax returns generally provide the information needed for a realistic discussion. Assets that require division include stocks, cash, retirement plans and life insurance policies. Primary residences, vacation homes and timeshares also divide fairly in a Minnesota divorce.
Older couples may have accumulated a significant number of assets through decades of marriage. The court reviews property, each spouse’s current income and expenses to finalize their fair division.