Divorcing when you are over 50 in Rhode Island comes with unique challenges you wouldn’t normally expect for younger couples. The emotional and financial toll it takes can be challenging to deal with, but one must find a way to tackle through so that they can come out of the process in a good state that can make moving on much easier.
Retirement benefits and social security
If your partner was working and you stayed at home, Social Security will not be an option for you unless you have been married for at least ten years and are 62 years or older. If you are eligible, your share would be 50% of their benefits, and you would still continue to get what you rightfully deserve even if they remarry or pass away. However, if you were also working and are eligible for benefits, Social Security will pay you the higher of the two amounts, i.e., yours or your ex’s: you can’t have both.
Retirement accounts are also subject to an equitable split upon divorce in Rhode Island. Usually, this is done by a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (if you work with a private firm) or a Domestic Relations Order (if you are with a government organization). These will state how the assets should be divided and who will pay any associated tax penalties.
Chances are, with all those years of staying together, you have commingled most of your separate property with marital property. This can make it very difficult to try and untangle everything and come up with a fair split. Most couples go for out-of-court divorce to have control over their property division, especially if they have a sentimental item they would like to keep by trading it with something else of equal value.
After your divorce, you will need to update your will, power of attorney, and healthcare proxy to reflect your new marital status. If you don’t do this, your ex-spouse could still be named as the person in charge of making decisions for you if you become incapacitated or die.
These are just a fraction of the critical aspects of a gray divorce. Nevertheless, getting what you rightfully and legally deserve and moving forward is of the essence. Most people have a more fulfilling life after a divorce when they focus on growth and healing.