A devastating new critique in the Washington University Law Review has spelled out how federal law punishes older couples for being married.
It’s not just that if you meet and fall in love during your golden years you may be much better off staying unwed than tying the knot; it’s that under current federal law if you and your long-term spouse make it into your 60s you might well be able to help your struggling finances by divorcing.
These are the implications of “Preferencing Nonmarriage In Later Years,” by law professor Richard Kaplan, the Guy Raymond Jones Chair in Law at the University of Illinois.
He highlights two key areas of elder finance where a couple is often better off unmarried than married: Social Security and nursing-home care. As these are two of the most important financial issues facing all elders, the argument about elder marriage — or elder divorce — may be more than academic.
Ady and I had close relationships with his caregivers, many of whom worked with us for years. They allowed Ady to continue to live in our home,...