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Financial concerns when getting a gray divorce in Hawaii

More and more people aged 50 or older are choosing to end their marriages instead of remaining together unhappily. According to one article, the American divorce rate for older couples has roughly doubled since the 1990s.

The process of getting a late-life, or gray, divorce in Honolulu is about the same as it is for younger couples. For example, you must participate in dividing your marital property. However, those divorcing after the age of 50 often face more financial challenges than younger couples face.

Supporting yourself in your post-divorce life

There may come a day when you can no longer work as much as you did when you were younger, resulting in a reduced income. As such, we routinely urge older couples to make sure they can support themselves after a divorce. To accomplish this goal, consider these two effective ways of improving your finances.

  • Spousal support. If you are the lesser earning spouse or if you have fewer assets than your spouse, alimony or spousal support could make a difference in your standard of living. Family courts will take your current finances into account and your potential earning capacity once your divorce is final.
  • Shared retirement assets. Hawaii is not a community property state, which means you are not automatically entitled to half of your spouse’s pension or retirement plans. However, you may still receive a portion if you take the proper steps. For example, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) could entitle you to a portion of your spouse’s retirement assets.

Naturally, these are only a few of the concerns you may have, but they’re a good starting point for your future plans.

The takeaway

With proper planning and experienced guidance, you can get a late-life divorce without suffering undue financial hardships. We recommend learning more about Hawaii divorce and property division laws before you file your petition for a divorce.