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Grey divorce and homeownership

When a married couple undergoes a divorce in California, the assets acquired during marriage will be split evenly between the parties. When it comes to ownership of a home, an equitable division could mean that a home is sold and the proceeds divided. Alternatively, the two parties may determine that one person may keep the home in exchange for another concession.

A growing trend is known as "grey divorce." Grey divorce refers to those divorces that are initiated later in life among older couples. A couple undergoing divorce negotiations closer to the age of retirement may have different considerations than parties who are separating at a younger age. Even the determination of home ownership may change based on the parties' ages.

Elderly couples facing the prospect of being alone may need to determine how they will support themselves and pay their bills. Owning a home may seem like a hindrance, as it will entail a larger number of bills for insurance and home maintenance. However, financial advisers suggest that those who keep home consider the advantages of taking out a reverse mortgage on the property.

A reverse mortgage is available to homeowners at least 62 years of age and provides borrowers with funds in the form of a ready line of credit, monthly payments or a lump sum; the reverse mortgage is usually paid off when the homeowner dies or sells the house. A reverse mortgage might prevent someone with a reduced income from needing to sell temporarily depressed assets to ready up some cash. It could also forestall the need to make taxable withdrawals from a retirement account. A divorce attorney might be able to provide further information and determine the feasibility of taking out a reverse mortgage.

Source: Forbes, "How Reverse Mortgages Can Benefit Older Divorcing Women", Jeff Landers, September 24, 2013

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
Fax: 916-498-0127
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