Divorce After 50
01 October 2016IN: Family Law
Divorcing later in life poses certain challenges that are unique to individuals in this demographic. After potentially spending decades together, couples may not know they are as individuals anymore rather than part of a couple.
Divorce after 50 often has severe financial consequences. The older a person is when he or she gets a divorce, the more complicated his or her finances may be. Older couples may also have accumulated significant assets by this point in their life. They may own multiple types of property, including a home, vehicles, retirement accounts and other financial accounts. At the same time, they may have debt associated with many of these items, such as a mortgage, car loan and consumer debt. They may even have student loans that they have co-signed for their children.
When people have accumulated retirement savings for many years as a married couple, they usually base their savings off of the idea that there will only be one household. When these accounts are then split in two, the individuals have a very limited amount of time to recover from the financial impact of divorce.
There may also be complex emotional matters involved in divorce cases after 50. The couple may not have dated anyone else for decades. Their children may be grown but may still be impacted by the divorce. Money that may have passed to children for a later inheritance may now need to be used to help support the divorcing individuals. Adult children may find it difficult to coordinate important life events such as weddings when their parents are divorced.
When going through a late in life divorce, it is important that both spouses look into their current finances and their projected post-divorce finances. They should have a clear financial picture before making decisions about how to divide property or whether spousal support will be paid. It is important when making these decisions that each spouse has a solid understanding of the possible tax implications. Both spouses should make decisions that provides enough money for them to live on after their divorce is completed.
Spouses may also have to make difficult decisions about their assets such as determining whether they can keep the family home. They may have to accept that their lifestyle may need to be adjusted after the divorce. Retirement plans may have to be delayed. Luxuries may have to be denied. A spouse who has been a homemaker may have to seek employment if spousal support will not be adequate to fully support him or her. A spouse may have to look into more lucrative career options.