Divorce in the later years of life – often referred to as "gray divorce" – is becoming more common, especially now that people are living longer, working longer, and physically active longer. In fact, one in four Americans over the age of 50 are going through a divorce, which is double the rate from 1990. Unfortunately, this also comes with some drawbacks, particularly in the financial area. Know what your risks are and how you may be able to prepare effectively before filing.
Marital Assets in Gray Divorce
Just like in all divorces, marital assets are divided among those divorcing later in life. For example, pension money, such as IRAs and 401Ks earned during a divorce, are usually split. This can ultimately delay retirement, especially if alimony is an issue. In contrast, if the divorcing couple has already retired, this can create a massive shift, possibly to the point of completely altering the lifestyle of one or both parties.
Declining Health, Health Conditions, and Healthcare
Even if both individuals are healthy at the time of the divorce, healthcare at a later stage in life can be of great concern. This concern is exponentially heightened when there are health complications, issues of an impending or current decline in health, or a lack of healthcare coverage for one party after the divorce. The issue is so prominent, in fact, that there are separated couples who remain married, just to ensure both parties have healthcare coverage.
Lack of Financial Preparedness
Another common issue in gray divorce is that, oftentimes, one party was responsible for handling the finances throughout the marriage. As a result, the other spouse may be unprepared to deal with the process on their own. Budgeting issues, lack of knowledge regarding assets and debts, and more can quickly sink an individual, sometimes even before the ink is dry on the divorce decree.
Preparing for Divorce Later in Life
Although it may not be possible to plan for all potential complications of a gray divorce, a little knowledge can go a long way in evening the playing field. For example, it is important to know that women are most often affected by the lack of assets and resources. Secondly, you can spend time tracking and gathering information on mutual financial resources.
The skilled and experienced DuPage County divorce attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC can assist you through the process and help to ensure your rights and best interest are protected throughout the entire process. Backed by more than 200 years of combined experience, we offer comprehensive and personalized representation for all our clients, regardless of what stage of life they are in. Get the representation you deserve by calling 630-932-9100 to schedule your free initial consultation today.
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