Collaborative law could offer solutions for older couples

For those in Maryland who are considering filing for divorce after the age of 50, the issues that will take precedence are different from those faced by younger couples. As retirement approaches, spouses who are going through a divorce must focus on establishing a foundation of financial security above all else. In many cases, collaborative law offers a better path toward that end than a traditionally litigated divorce.

Couples who are nearing retirement must put aside their personal issues and make every effort to work together with their soon-to-be ex in crafting a settlement agreement that allows both parties to walk away from the marriage in a strong financial position. As we age, having less time left within the workplace means fewer chances to recover from significant financial losses. Therefore, it is imperative to work together to determine the best way to divide marital wealth.

Various property division choices have different financial ramifications. For example, there can be sizable tax consequences for dividing certain types of investments. Another issue involves how to divide real estate holdings, which can lead to significant costs associated with selling a property, or tax losses for a spouse who walks away from a home. These are all issues that must be addressed during the divorce process.

Many Maryland couples could benefit from taking a collaborative law approach to these matters. Working together at the end of a marriage can allow both parties to reach a faster, less stressful and more financially advantageous divorce than traditional litigation. Spouses who are willing to set aside their differences and structure a well-informed divorce settlement can preserve a great deal of marital wealth, allowing both to leave the marriage with a high degree of financial security.

Source: National Public Radio, Older Americans' Breakups Are Causing A 'Graying' Divorce Trend, Ina Jaffe, Feb. 24, 2014