Divorce at Altitude: A Podcast on Colorado Family Law

Challenges in Gray Divorces | Episode 60

October 14, 2021 Ryan Kalamaya & Amy Goscha Season 1 Episode 60
Divorce at Altitude: A Podcast on Colorado Family Law
Challenges in Gray Divorces | Episode 60
Show Notes Transcript

Ryan Kalamaya and Amy Goscha discuss challenges unique to gray divorces.

Below are several of the issues that are unique to those going through a gray divorce.

- Social Security Benefits
- Medicare, Health and Long-Term Care Insurance
- Estate Planning
- Competency & Guardian ad litems
- Dividing Pension Plans & Retirement Accounts
- Impact on and Involvement of Adult Children

What is Divorce at Altitude? 

Ryan Kalamaya and Amy Goscha provide tips and recommendations on issues related to divorce, separation, and co-parenting in Colorado. Ryan and Amy are the founding partners of an innovative and ambitious law firm, Kalamaya | Goscha, that pushes the boundaries to discover new frontiers in family law, personal injuries, and criminal defense in Colorado. 

To subscribe to Divorce at Altitude, click here and select your favorite podcast player. To subscribe to Kalamaya | Goscha's YouTube channel where many of the episodes will be posted as videos, click here. If you have additional questions or would like to speak to one of our attorneys, give us a call at 970-429-5784 or email us at info@kalamaya.law.



What is Divorce at Altitude?

Ryan Kalamaya and Amy Goscha provide tips and recommendations on issues related to divorce, separation, and co-parenting in Colorado. Ryan and Amy are the founding partners of an innovative and ambitious law firm, Kalamaya | Goscha, that pushes the boundaries to discover new frontiers in family law, personal injuries, and criminal defense in Colorado.

To subscribe to Divorce at Altitude, click here and select your favorite podcast player. To subscribe to Kalamaya | Goscha's YouTube channel where many of the episodes will be posted as videos, click here. If you have additional questions or would like to speak to one of our attorneys, give us a call at 970-429-5784 or email us at info@kalamaya.law.



Ryan Kalamaya (3s):
Hey everyone. I'm Ryan Kalamaya.

Amy Goscha (6s):
And I am Amy Goscha.

Ryan Kalamaya (8s):
Welcome to Divorce at Altitude a podcast on Colorado family law

Amy Goscha (13s):
Divorce is not easy. It really sucks. Trust me. I know, besides being an experienced divorce attorney, I'm also a divorce Client.

Ryan Kalamaya (21s):
Whether you are someone considering divorce or a fellow family law attorney listening for weekly tips and insight into topics related to divorce, parenting, and separation in Colorado. Welcome back to another episode at Divorce at Altitude. I'm Ryan Kalamaya, this week I am joined with my cohost Amy Gosha. We're going to talk about Grey Divorces and the particularities that arise from that. But first of all, Amy, how, how it goes it?

Amy Goscha (54s):
Great. How are you Doing Ryan?

Ryan Kalamaya (55s):
I'm good. Well, we are both very far away from hope gray hairs, but you know, Grey Divorces, they have become increasingly popular. I think the statistics are pretty interesting in terms of the increase of Divorces for people 50 years of age older. And, you know, there's some different theories on why that is, you know, one theory is certainly that people are living longer and that, you know, they are looking at their marriage and they are unhappy and they don't want to continue that for the next 20 or 30 years and a whole host of other reasons. But Amy, any insight from your perspective on great divorces?

Amy Goscha (1m 35s):
Yeah. So I think that, you know, we have the baby boomer generation, so there's more of them in that, I guess age range also, I think looking at a second or third marriage, just in general, the statistic is higher for divorce rates. So that could, you know, I think all of those things probably, you know, accumulate to the reasons, but I think those are some of the driving factors

Ryan Kalamaya (1m 58s):
And, you know, I mean, women are becoming more financially independent and you know, the male with, you know, we see all these Viagra commercials, you know, there's, you know, and they're kind of stereotypical like older guy with a younger girl. I mean, there's this, there's all these different, you know, feelings and stories behind them, but let's kind of dive in and talk about the issues that from a legal perspective really can be different or unique to a great divorce. And the first thing is, you know, normally we talk about property and then we get into maintenance, but let's talk about maintenance first and income after a divorce and, and your retirement. So Amy talked to me about those income and maintenance issues.

Amy Goscha (2m 41s):
I mean, if you're, you know, retirement age and, or you have retired, I mean, your income could be a lot less than, you know, unless you like passive income, you know, what the court is gonna, you know, look at, you know, what is your circumstance like if you've hit full retirement age, you know, there might not be, you might not be able to pay spousal maintenance. Even if you have a lot of property, there might just be property, you know, to divide, you know, but I think that people accumulate their wealth. If it's like a 40 year marriage, you know, they're planning it in a certain way and one party might have the majority of the retirement or might've worked, you know, the, the majority of the time during the marriage or might have, you know, a business and, you know, they've done some family succession planning, so it just gets kind of complicated, you know?

Amy Goscha (3m 30s):
And I think most people at that age, it might be kind of the last thing that they're thinking about, you know, to divide their assets. So, you know, when you're looking at this, I guess age range in divorce, what's unique is they might not have as much income. So there might not be, you know, really as many maintenance awards, you know, and I think if you're the spouse that hasn't earned the money, like you might be thinking, well, I did all of this, you know, to acquire our wealth. Like I need, you know, maintenance, but if the other party is not making money, I mean, they can't afford maintenance. So that's one of the first things I think about what about you? What are some of the concerns or topics you see?

Ryan Kalamaya (4m 11s):
I think there's two things Amy, that come to mind for me. One is that baby boomers and, and gray divorces, they thought they're more of a traditional that the man works. The woman, you know, stayed at home. And so you get into that stereotype a little bit more frequently, and oftentimes you will be dealing with a man who is, you know, working more, there's a primary breadwinner, you know, going back to our Eric Wolf scenario, Eric and Melanie Wolfer hypothetical divorced couple back in episode one, if you fast forward that to, you know, 30, 40 years, Eric might be nearing retirement.

Ryan Kalamaya (4m 51s):
And that brings up, you know, these chains, it might be the reason why they're looking at getting a divorce, but, you know, they, he might be earning income, but he's just about to get, or just about, you know, of retirement age. So do you have maintenance, spousal support alimony, you know, now, and then when does it terminate and, you know, self-employed individuals, they generally work longer, you know, into their seventies as opposed to more of a salary where they hit 67 or 66. And, you know, they work for, you know, they, they have a pension which we'll talk about later. They might kind of hit a particular age that really is, you know, is going to determine that they, that the retire.

Ryan Kalamaya (5m 36s):
But, you know, there's been some changes in the law. You know, the law now contemplates for maintenance, that if there's a termination or a change that, you know, the law now contemplates that if a party has reached a reasonable or full retirement age, then they, you know, there's a presumption that they're stopping work and it's made good faith. And that that's going to be a little bit different than, you know, someone that is experiencing, you know, a really severe case of divorce flu, and all of a sudden they can't work and they can't earn income. That law kind of understands that, you know, that that might be that that's a reasonable amount. You know, there's marriage is swinging where, you know, there's a ups worker.

Ryan Kalamaya (6m 17s):
He, you know, basically, or he was a long-range trucker and he was making really good money. And I think he wanted to be closer to his family and he didn't want to be doing the long trips and he was getting older. So he switched to being a ups driver. His income went down or some sort of local delivery. And the court was presented in that case, was that a reasonable change? And so it's those sorts of issues that you are dealing with in a, in a great divorce. The second thing that all, you know, address and, and this kind of leads into retirement and social security, which we'll talk about is that, you know, parties, they can go through their life and their work planning for retirement and they're, you know, generating savings. And then they're banking on a particular kind of income based on those savings.

Ryan Kalamaya (7m 0s):
And that can change when you have a divorce. And it is something that, you know, parties went into retirement thinking that they would have one large nest egg that was combined. Now, all of a sudden they're looking at splitting that. So Amy, you know, tell us, tell our audience about what considerations you see with that in gray divorces.

Amy Goscha (7m 20s):
So some of the issues ran that, you know, we see is, you know, someone has your, you were talking about kind of that traditional kind of family unit, where the man is, you know, the earner and the wife maybe was the homemaker and raised the kids. And she hasn't worked in a long time. So when I have a client who, you know, she's in her late fifties, early sixties, she's, you know, the reality is, is that, you know, she may not, she's not going to be able to probably get back into the workforce, you know, very easily. And so from the earner's perspective, the husband's perspective, you know, he's going to say, well, you know, she should be at least making, you know, minimum wage, 40 hours per week, but when you split households, you know, as we know in any divorce, it's just, you know, more expensive.

Amy Goscha (8m 4s):
So your expenses go up, you know, parties might be living in a house where they're going to retire and it's more expensive. Like they both might not be able to afford it, you know, living on their own. So I've had situations where, you know, if they're not really high net worth individuals, but you know, kind of doing fairly well, they might have to sell their house. And in this kind of a market, you know, you might get top dollar for your house, but where are you going to go? You know, you're going to have to downsize. And a lot of people, you know, that's kind of depressing to them because they're like we've worked our, our entire life, you know, to do X and then the T you know, the, their life changes. And I think another consideration, you know, that I look at is social security, benefits, and Divorce the court can't in Colorado divide, social security benefits.

Amy Goscha (8m 54s):
However, if you've been, at least for 10 years, I can appear to have 10 years, and you're not the earner. You can also draw on possibly the earners, social security benefits, as long as you're 62 years of age. And you haven't remarried the caveat with that though, is that if you do get remarried, those benefits, you know, when to stop, but you know, that is something, you know, that we look at, which I think dovetails into kind of some of those other retirement issues. What are some other issues M Ryan that you've seen in your Divorces related to retirement

Ryan Kalamaya (9m 28s):
In an age where defined benefit pension plans, those sorts of, of retirement plans are barely they're uncommon, but for baby boomers, it was a lot more common. And so when you're dividing a pension and we're now getting into the aspect of dividing property, and so, you know, people need to understand when you are dividing property specifically with a gray divorce, you're often talking about retirement benefits and that can be in an 401k, an IRA, and then there's different kinds of IRAs and a defined benefit. So when I referenced a defined benefit, that is, it's a pension and it's a guaranteed payment, you know, where defined or the para, which is the public pension plan for Colorado employees.

Ryan Kalamaya (10m 16s):
So teachers, judges, other public employees, there are a couple of different options that you can have when you are addressing that. So, you know, if there's a particular amount of payment, you can say that that payment is split in a particular manner. And it depends. And you can go back in and look at the history. So, especially with the defined benefit plan, you know, there could have been service when the person was in their twenties before the marriage. And oftentimes those pension, you know, they'll, they'll have a record of that. So there could be some separate property component, but if, you know, there's a monthly payment, it's a guaranteed amount, you could split it and ask the pension.

Ryan Kalamaya (10m 56s):
And, you know, most pensions will have information, you know, for example, Colorado, for para there's a whole website, you know, explaining about what happens with Divorce and there's, you know, option one, option two, option three, they, and it really depends. Cause you can have it where para or a defined, you know, pension, you know, defined benefit. You tell the company to just split it. You know, those are taxable earnings. And so that's something to take in mind because depending on the pension or depending on the, the retirement plan, the income generated can be taxable. So it's, it's helpful to have those issues addressed. A lot of, you know, questions that we get Amy, as you know, is, you know, is dividing property, taxable event.

Ryan Kalamaya (11m 38s):
And, you know, you have to kind of Wade through that. But when you're dealing with, with pension plans, you know, there's, there's a couple of different options and it, it depends on if, you know, you can get a lower amount, for example, in para if the primary beneficiary passes away and you can have it, you know, the pension might just completely go away, you know, because the pension was tied to that person service. And most of those defined benefit plans is based on, you know, a guaranteed payment for the life of that person. And then, you know, you might want to protect the spouse who, you know, is reliant on that income. So life insurance is something that we'll get into, but Amy with dividing a 401k or IRAs, what are the things that you typically are looking at when you're integrated divorce and retirement funds specifically with 401ks and IRAs are an issue?

Amy Goscha (12m 30s):
Well, first of all, you have to look at the tax issues. Like if you're, if you have a Roth IRA versus, you know, traditional IRA, you know, you're, if you're the, you want to kind of split those, not equally, but you know, they're, they're not worth the same amount. Whereas like with a 401k, you're going to need a qualified domestic relations order, you know, to do that. So I think when we're just dividing retirement, I try to do it where I try to avoid doing it for like a qualified domestic relations order, if I can. And if I see a Roth IRA, I'm going to want my client to have that Roth IRA. So those are kind of some of the things that I look at, what are some of the things we're in that you look at with retirement and divide and division of those types of assets?

Ryan Kalamaya (13m 14s):
Yeah. I think people, they don't understand that, you know, a 401k and their traditional IRA, the money, let's say it's a million dollars in one account that is not the same as a million dollars of cash because when you take that distribution from that 401k or traditional IRA, it's going to be taxed and, you know, so that we want to make sure that we're comparing to apples. And so oftentimes one party will have way more in the sense of 401k. They might have been the primary breadwinner and they cause you, you can oftentimes these retirement funds they're restricted and they're based on income. So one party will throughout the marriage contribute to that retirement account.

Ryan Kalamaya (13m 56s):
Then that kind of raises the issue of, you know, we always hear in, in that initial consultation of, you know, they have this amount in their name and, you know, that does title matter. You know, it also kind of brings up, as I said before, with pension plans, there's oftentimes a record of, you know, when the, in terms of separate property, when we're dealing with separate property with 401ks or IRAs, you know, getting back to, you know, the amount that that party had in that account during, you know, when they got married, that is, you know, when you have rollovers people switch jobs, it is really difficult. One thing that I have found is it's very difficult to prove and trace that separate property.

Ryan Kalamaya (14m 36s):
And, you know, for people that don't understand separate property and tracing go back to the episode that we did with Andy balm, where he'd explained tracing separate property, but you know, there's a retirement accounts. They both can be, you know, they, they should be looked at differently than a house or, you know, some sort of bank account. But I will say that it, depending on what the kind of profile of those assets, it can make a divorce, you know, easier. I mean, I dealt with a $20 million divorce that, you know, on its face, you'd be like, wow, $20 million. That is a lot of money. There's, they're going to fight over that. It was pretty easy because we ended up just going to the financial advisor, telling him to kind of divide it. And there was really no issues on, you know, who, what the thing with the amount that it was worse.

Ryan Kalamaya (15m 21s):
And we just told the financial advisor on a particular day to equally divide it and, you know, that's what he ended up doing. They both trusted him, but you know, that also raises the issue of financial planning. So Amy, what, when I mentioned financial planning and gray divorces, what am I talking about?

Amy Goscha (15m 39s):
You had a really key point. So when you're looking at dividing assets, a lot of times it is really good to take that to a financial planner to figure out how to divide that equally, because there are tax consequences, even though when you transfer a property incident to a divorce, that's not quote unquote taxed, but you know, like at a dollar in a investment account is not the same dollar as in a retirement account. And with financial planning, like going forward, you know, one thing that I do is I take a budget to a financial planner with my client because I want them to know like, okay, depending on how long that they're gonna live, like here's how much they need, you know?

Amy Goscha (16m 21s):
So they really need to kind of plan for, you know, like essentially long-term planning for, you know, later in life. So I think that's really, you know, really important.

Ryan Kalamaya (16m 33s):
This episode is brought to you by our law firms. Kalamaya Goscha Amy. And I describe our law firm as an innovative and ambitious trial team that pushes the boundaries to discover new frontiers in family law, personal injuries, and criminal defense in Colorado. We currently have offices in Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Edwards, Denver, and Boulder. If you want to find out more, visit our website, Kalamaya dot Law now back to the show.

Amy Goscha (17m 3s):
Okay, well, y'all ran. What do you think when you get a financial planner involved, what do you usually buy as your,

Ryan Kalamaya (17m 9s):
Well, I think it gets into the more traditional, again, the kind of stereotypical role that if one party was the primary bread winner, the other party, they might receive a substantial amount of money in a gray divorce, but they don't know what to do with it. And they have historically through the marriage not been in charge of the finances, but now they are. And that can both be scary. It can be invigorating for people that are, might be one of the reasons that they want to go through a divorce is because they want to be independent. But with that independence comes responsibility and, you know, they have to educate themselves. So they're going to get into life insurance, health insurance long-term care, those sorts of issues.

Ryan Kalamaya (17m 54s):
So frequently the less sophisticated party, you know, we're referring, those are making sure bringing them in or not financial advisors. We typically will look. I mean, we have a ton of experience with seeing people's financial health and, you know, I can tell someone, listen, like you're going to have to go back to work or you're going to be fine. But you know, it's a matter of making sure that that person, because I want to see them in five to 10 years and, you know, they have, they still have the money that, that we anticipated that, that they would, and that kind of relates to a budgeting. But I mentioned life insurance and long-term care.

Ryan Kalamaya (18m 34s):
Amy, why are those issues relevant, more integrate divorce, except for the obvious that people are older, but why are we having to navigate those issues in a divorce?

Amy Goscha (18m 45s):
So with life insurance, you know, if there is a maintenance obligation, you're going to want to secure that with life insurance. And that can be tricky because if you know, they have, I guess, term policies and existence, they might be expiring. It can be expensive depending on someone's health to be able to afford life insurance. And so I think that, you know, when you look at not only securing your obligation for spousal maintenance, it's also, you know, planning for the future as well. Like if you need, you know, long-term care, you know, that's a real thing it's really expensive. So that's something that, you know, needs to be planned for. And I do think that, you know, when we're talking about, you know, division of property as well, I think it's important that, you know, you do look at the budget for someone and we're looking at, you know, it could be expensive to have those types of policies and that needs to be put into their budget and accounted for yes.

Ryan Kalamaya (19m 43s):
And I think it goes back to our earlier point in that people can have a plan that they're going to retire and they're anticipating that the other is going to take care of them if they need that. And that when you go through a divorce, all of a sudden you're confronting again, it's the independence also has responsibility. And if you were originally planning on having someone take care of you, your spouse, and now you're looking at a great divorce, then you're, you know, you're having to consider long-term care as well as health insurance and, you know, making sure that those are issues that you're going to address because if one party is eligible for Medicare and the other party is not, they're younger than we're going to have to kind of figure that aspect out.

Ryan Kalamaya (20m 30s):
And, you know, having spousal, continuing coverage coverage through an employer, if, if someone's still employed, but then the long-term care, you know, Medicaid might, they might be eligible for long-term care, but that long-term care. Those coverages can be extremely expensive. I've had to navigate that a little bit, or just at least talk about it with my own parents, because they're getting to that age and, you know, having a plan in place, you know, that is especially important, especially when one party has not really thought of that, you know, because they traditionally were just not the financial planner of, you know, that couple.

Amy Goscha (21m 4s):
Yeah. And I think it can be kind of summed up. And when you're dealing with a gray hair Divorce, you're really looking at health like physical health, financial health. And how is that, you know, how are you going to transition that? And so I do think it is really important, you know, even when you're looking at a house, like if you're going to purchase a new house, you have to look at like, what are like, what are these expenses? And do I need to put that into the budget? Like, does the furnace need to be replaced? So you just think about, you know, some of those issues and how it ties to the budget to make sure that, you know, your client is going to be taken

Ryan Kalamaya (21m 36s):
Well. And you mentioned health, and that raises a topic that is something that we've definitely dealt with. And Amy you in particular, because you went to the court of appeals or Supreme court on a competency, but you know, there's issues of Divorces really emotional. It can, you know, drive people who are otherwise kind of saying to kind of go temporarily a little bit insane. And I don't mean that in a derogatory sense, but you know, competency can be in real issue in great divorce. So tell our audience, like how does the kind of law as far as competency in, in Colorado and why does it come up or how, how can we address it? Integrate divorce.

Amy Goscha (22m 17s):
Yeah. So I didn't create a force. I mean, competency, it can be kind of challenging. You're doing with, you know, people might have Alzheimer's or memory loss. You want to make sure that they understand, you know, the agreements that they're entering in the law in Colorado kind of has been ever evolving, but in Colorado we have guardian and widens where they can serve as a fiduciary and can step in the shoes. If someone, you know, does not have capacity to be able to reach agreements or to understand, you know, the what's going on in the legal proceedings. So essentially, you know, if a court is reasonably convinced that the party is not mentally competent to effectively participate, that's kind of the general like benchmark.

Amy Goscha (23m 1s):
And, you know, we look at, and remarriage was Sorenson. You know, I was involved in, on the remand in that case, but it essentially set forth that, you know, for a court to determine if someone has capacity and if a guardian ad litem should be essentially appointed, the court has to have a hearing on that to determine if a party is, does have capacity to enter the agreements and to understand, you know, the financial and legal issues that are going on, or if a jail needs to be appointed as a guardian ad litem. And so, you know, it just, it definitely can complicate things. If you do have a spouse who, you know, those types of issues, but essentially the solution to that as the guardian ad litem can be, you know, appointed to serve as a fiduciary representative.

Amy Goscha (23m 52s):
And in that type of regard,

Ryan Kalamaya (23m 54s):
Amy raises the topic of adult children because oftentimes we will be dealing with adult children and they might be appointed not necessarily as a guardian ad litem, but as a personal representative, but going back to the competency, creative sources can take longer because both, you know, there's some emotional issues, the kind of grieving process for their marriage, especially if it's a 30, 40 year marriage, you know, that it is, it can be really a long process when you're talking about grieving. And, you know, also can take longer because, you know, a party may not understand and they might have to have the ISSUES explained to them several times, but in terms of adult children, how are adult children, what are the concerns and issues that we have to navigate as divorce lawyers with a great,

Amy Goscha (24m 43s):
Yeah, I think that, you know, when you think about gray hair Divorce, it's easy to forget that there are adult children involved. You know, if we have adult children in their twenties and thirties, it still is difficult probably for them to process their parents divorced. And I think, you know, children who are, or adult children who are 20 and 30, they're also looking at their future, you know, and what does this mean to them as far as, you know, inheritance, you know, not that people should live their life just based off of the parent, you know, their parent's inheritance, you know, but it is a concern for them. So it, it can be complicated because maybe the adult children are married and maybe there's grandchildren involved. So you have this kind of multi-generational, you know, you mentioned the grieving process.

Amy Goscha (25m 24s):
I think it just would trickle down, you know, not only to adult children, but their spouses and grandchildren. And, you know, it just can be pretty complicated. I've had a few cases where unfortunately, you know, pending divorce is happening and one of the spouses, you know, died during that. And then it turns into, you know, this whole probate issue. So it just, it can get pretty complex, you know, in that regard, what have you seen Ryan and,

Ryan Kalamaya (25m 50s):
Well, I think one of the main issues is, is, is this a first marriage and are the adult children? Is it mom and dad that have been married for, you know, again, 30, 40 years that it can be completely, you know, it can take people by surprise and it can be a real emotional for everyone involved. And, you know, although the core, and it doesn't have jurisdiction like over a three-year-old that, you know, in terms of allocating parental responsibilities, something certainly that is, you know, a unique aspect that can really determine the climate for Selma and can be one of those emotional considerations. But if it's a second or third marriage, then yeah, what you were saying, adult children can really have an agenda and they might be pushing their parents to get divorced, especially as they approach older age, they might be concerned about various.

Ryan Kalamaya (26m 44s):
And, you know, if there wasn't a premarital agreement, there's not a marital agreement that is, is involved. And of course we've done several episodes on marital agreements and premarital agreements and how common they are with second, third marriages. But I think that that really can, you know, determine the role of adult children. Again, then you talk about dating because if you go back to the earlier scenario of mom and dad are getting divorced and all of a sudden mom has a new boyfriend that can really cause some emotional fallout integrate divorce. So Amy what's been your experience or thoughts on Grey divorces and dating.

Amy Goscha (27m 23s):
And so when I think about gray hair Divorces and dating, you know, that it can just be, bring up a lot of emotions, you know, for adult children. And you know what we're looking for, if you're dating during the pendency of a divorce, you know, as a divorce attorney, we're looking at just a patient, you know, is that fast spending, you know, a lot of money, not for a marital purpose, you know, on that new girlfriend or boyfriend. So it just can complicate things. And as you and I both, you know, have discussed before, when you're looking at a long-term marriage, we usually do see with the division of assets is going to be pretty equal, you know, yes, Colorado is an equitable state, but in most circumstances it is going to be equitable to divide the marital assets equally.

Amy Goscha (28m 9s):
So I think, you know, those are some of the things that it just can complicate it. And you don't think about, again, that, you know, it can complicated emotionally even with your soon to be ex spouse when you're trying to negotiate with them. If one person has a new, you know, 20 year old girlfriend, you know, that can kind of exacerbate the conflict and litigation.

Ryan Kalamaya (28m 31s):
Yeah. Amy, I think that took a little wrinkle on your statement about division of assets in terms of disproportionate allocation. Again, if you're talking about a second marriage and this has been, you know, only a five or short-term marriage, and you're talking about a 70 year old couple, that is going to be a different scenario considerably compared to that 70 or a couple, and they've been married for 40 years. So obviously it depends. And I think at least what I've seen is, you know, you could have a dead marriage. You know, the people, they might not have been intimate for five, 10 years, a very long time. And then all of a sudden a new boyfriend or girlfriend comes in and, you know, the person's really excited.

Ryan Kalamaya (29m 12s):
They've got, they feel like they have a new lease on life and they're buying all different kinds of presents. And, you know, not just the emotional, like, well, Jim never bought me a diamond ring during our marriage, but also you've got the financial aspects of right, what is the traditional spend rate? And that is pretty well-established. And if you have a significant deviation, you can have economic fault, but it kind of brings in the economic fall versus the fall. That might not be a consideration by the judge in dividing assets, but that we certainly have to take into consideration. But I think, again, we're talking about planning, the final issue is a state planning and the, you know, we oftentimes will see people, you know, as part of their estate planning, they might look at a marital agreement, premarital agreement, if it's a second marriage and they're later in life, but how can a state planning matter integrate divorce, Amy?

Amy Goscha (30m 8s):
Well, you know, when you're, I think it just goes to, when you're thinking about creative solutions, like you could set up, you know, in a case, a life estate for wife to live in a certain house, and then it goes to the children upon her death. So I think that, you know, we can use some of those estate planning tools to reach creative and equitable outcomes for people later in life. So when I think about estate planning, it's that, but it's also like the life, you know, the health care directives, you know, we're talking about health. People are gonna want to change, you know, if you're not wanting your soon to be ex wife or spouse or a husband, you know, making medical decisions for you, if you're incapacitated, you know, you need to update those, you know, directives, you know, including your medical power of attorney, financial power of attorney and also your living.

Amy Goscha (30m 59s):
Well, you know, so those are some of the things that I look at and deal with, you know, when I'm, when I have these types of cases.

Ryan Kalamaya (31m 6s):
Yeah. I think to clarify, or to make clear when you are going through a divorce, you know, there's obviously a possibility, I mean, we can all die, but you know, when you're dealing with a great divorce, you know, I think it's morbid, but it is more likely that someone can pass away. And so do you update that will do you update that living, you know, the, the living will, because if you become incapacitated during the divorce, you don't want your, a strange, you know, spouse, although you may have been with them for 30 years and at the time you signed your living, will, you don't want them to be signing off on, you know, various things and pulling the plug on you. But then also that relates to after a divorce is finished, you know, under Colorado law that there's this automatic change in estate planning when it comes to beneficiaries, but the parties, they might want to be unified and address it in their separation agreement, in the divorce about how they're going to provide for estate planning, if there are children and they might be unified on that aspect and they they're gonna redo their estate planning after the divorce.

Ryan Kalamaya (32m 12s):
And they might want to have a provision in their separation agreement that make sure that they're unified on, you know, what, what happens to those assets and that, you know, when you've got adult children versus younger children, you're kind of getting into some complex, you know, estate planning, which we'll have a separate episodes with estate planners, but Amy, what are your thoughts on those issues?

Amy Goscha (32m 34s):
I definitely agree. I think that, you know, if you can put in the agreement that you're unified on a state planning that can help because as a divorce attorney, like two things, I'm really thinking about when I'm dealing with gray, hard of work forces that are capacity issues. If there are capacity issues to make sure there's an equitable division and when there's adult children, I do also want to make sure that there is an equitable division if that's warranted, like for we're talking more in the traditional scenario of long-term marriage, you know, because those are factors, you know, that I'm thinking about, it's not just my client, it's, you know, their adult children, state planning issues. You know, if you're on the same page with those, then you avoid conflicts, you know, down the road,

Ryan Kalamaya (33m 17s):
We'll have more episodes and to address the various issues, estate planning, taxes, retirement accounts, those sorts of issues that frequently come up with great divorces. But until next time, thank you for joining us. And we hope that you enjoyed our discussion on gray divorce, everyone. This is Ryan again. Thank you for joining us on Divorce at Altitude. If you found our tips, insight or discussion, helpful, please tell a friend about this podcast for show notes, additional resources or links mentioned on today's episode. Visit Divorce at Altitude dot com. Follow us on apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen in.

Ryan Kalamaya (33m 59s):
Many of our episodes are also posted on YouTube. You can also find Amy and me at Kalamaya dot law or 9, 7 0 3 1 5 2 3 6 5 that's K a L a M a Y a dot Law.