In recent years, the divorce rate among American couples over the age of 50 has increased significantly. While the end of their marriage can offer people new opportunities, divorce can also bring unique challenges to older people. What should people divorcing later in life consider?
Property division may be particularly challenging.
With more than one third of divorces later in life occurring after more than 30 years of marriage, older couples have often spent more time together and have acquired more assets over that time. You may have forgotten which property was given as a gift to one of you. You may also have purchased more valuable assets over the course of your marriage, including your home. This can make the process of dividing that property more difficult.
One spouse may have a better understanding of household finances than the other.
Chances are that you and your spouse divided your tasks over the course of your marriage. One of you may have done most of the laundry. One of you may have mowed the lawn. If one of you took household finances on as your task, however, that may make the prospect of divorce more challenging.
As Investopedia notes, if one spouse has a better understanding of a couple’s savings, investments, debts and other financial assets, you will need to make a comprehensive inventory of those assets to divide them fairly.
Retirement savings, pension and other benefits require careful consideration.
You have spent most of your life saving to provide for yourself in old age. A divorce can have a significant impact on that savings because the savings acquired during your marriage might be divided along with your other property. Unfortunately, as Forbes acknowledges, retirement savings that may have provided for you and your spouse together might not be enough when divided between two households.
If you wonder how a divorce later in life will impact your finances, your retirement and your life, you may want to speak to an experienced attorney. They can help you create a strategy based on your unique needs and your stage in life.