Welcome to another edition of Bouschor Family Law Radio. Today we’re talking with David Bouschor about Grey Divorce. That’s a terminology that is really been coming into play quite a bit here as Baby Boomers no longer have kids, but now are facing some realities of divorce.
David: Yeah, I think your Grey Divorce is more of a definition of where their children are. In a lot of cases they’re already adults, a lot of them are going through college, families may or may not be helping them with that. But it is your 40s and up people that are looking at the property they have, some of them may be looking at retirements and what they plan on doing with their retirements. And it really tends to be more of a property driven divorce than getting divorced in your 20s.
Tim: So what are the biggest challenges that those who qualify for that term, Grey Divorce, are going to face in the process of going through a divorce?
David: Well first of all, I’m seeing a lot more Grey Divorces where people have been thinking about it for a while, and now they’re looking at their nest egg, for lack of a better term, and how things are going to be divided up. But it also comes into people’s skill sets for the next twenty, thirty years before they actually may get divorced. It just becomes a lot more complicated on property, retirement, tax implications, and how to divide that up with people’s skill sets for the future.
Tim: And I guess part of that becomes the fact that in a Grey Divorce this has been a case where the assets have been accumulating as they’ve been paying off their house, perhaps whatever their investments are that you’re talking about, that now are bigger challenges for that family, who gets what?
David: Well, and there’s also questions with characterization. For instance, if you have two people that are in their 50s, it’s very possible that their parents have died, leaving one of the spouses a property through the heirship proceedings, and that would be a separate property characterization, which is something that that spouse ends up taking out of the divorce as their own property. There’s also community property which is everything that you’ve accumulated during the marriage, and then who gets what, and in some cases the administrative costs of splitting things up.
Tim: So for someone who is in that category of a Grey Divorce, what’s the starting point that they need to engage in to begin to determine some of those questions?
David: Well if you have your average 50-year-old person who is thinking about a divorce, it is probably a case where they have never been through a divorce before. Getting in touch with an experienced family law attorney that can answer your questions about their particular case is imperative because everybody’s life is different. Some people have 401ks, some people have IRAs, some people have their money in CDs, come have their money in equities, some people have it in- there are still some pensions around there. So it depends on what their estate looks like and the characterization of their estate in order to predict or to help them figure out what their future’s going to look like coming out of the other end of the divorce.
Tim: And for that reason it’s really important to have an experienced and board-certified family law attorney to help you with that process.
David: There are many areas in Texas that people can get board-certified in. People that are board-certified in family law have proven themselves both experience and education-wise to be able to help people through the divorce process. When it comes to property, most people- this will be the biggest business decision of their life. And it’s just not something that you want to practice on the first time when it’s your life.
Tim: And so the first step really if someone wants to talk to you is to give you a call.
David: Give me a call, set up a consultation, and sit down, jot down the questions that you have, and maybe even some idea of what you think your estate looks like, and we’ll go through it and you will leave with a lot more information than what you came with.
Tim: This has been another edition of Bouschor Family Law Radio.