Divorce over the age of 50 has been increasing steadily over recent years, both in Texas and around the country. Late-life divorces can present unique challenges not present for younger people’s divorces, and the financial consequences can often be serious.
In most cases of a divorce between parties over 50 years old, the existing marriage had lasted for decades. The couple had established patterns of life, both financial and otherwise, and now those routines are shattered. And for older people, retirement is often just around the corner, making it an especially tricky time for a major lifestyle change.
Mistakes to avoid
It’s very frequent in any marriage for one partner to have a better understanding of the couple’s assets and finances. And by the time a couple is 50+ years old, it’s possible to accumulate a wide range of assets, between investments, properties, retirement accounts and pensions, insurance policies, and so on.
Having a complete inventory of those assets is essential before proceeding with a divorce. Without one, it’s impossible to make a fair and equitable split of assets.
Health insurance is of paramount importance to older people especially, and it’s common for a spouse to get their health insurance through the job of the other partner. Don’t neglect to sort out the ramifications of a divorce proceeding on your health insurance situation.
Many older married couples’ primary asset is a home, often either paid for or close to paid for. Even without a mortgage, a house costs quite a bit of money to maintain. Now that your finances are solo, it may no longer make sense for either party to keep the house.
Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of resolving any issues surrounding pensions, 401(k)s or other retirement accounts. These are intended to be your nest egg for retirement, and now you’ve got to resolve your new situation after a divorce.
Divorce over the age of 50 can be especially difficult, but it doesn’t have to be financially ruinous. Keeping these tips in mind can help you avoid many common pitfalls during the process.