If you are age 50 or older, your life has probably changed significantly since you married your spouse. You have probably changed jobs or moved to a new home. You may have adult children, and you or your spouse may have taken time away from the workforce to raise them. You or your spouse might even have retired from the workforce.
If these changes include the decision to divorce your spouse, however, you face unique concerns that can significantly impact your life and your finances.
It may be more difficult to identify separate property.
If you have been married for some time, you may not remember which pieces of property you owned before your wedding. Because of this, more of your assets may be subject to division in divorce.
Dividing your retirement savings can have a more significant impact on your finances.
While younger couples may have the chance to rebuild their retirement savings after a divorce, dividing that savings can be a unique challenge for older couples. Because you may be approaching retirement or have already retired, dividing your savings could leave you without the funds you need to meet your needs.
Later in life, you may have greater medical needs.
Many families choose to cover the whole family on one insurance policy. While many states prohibit a divorcing person from dropping their spouse during the divorce itself, finalizing that divorce can leave one spouse without the coverage they rely on. This can be especially difficult for older couples because they often face age-related health concerns, a greater need for medical care and higher insurance costs.
Spousal support may be a more significant concern.
Depending on your situation, the court may order you or your spouse to pay spousal support after the divorce. Because the law factors the duration of the marriage, time away from the workforce and other details into this decision, older couples who have been married for some time need to consider the part that spousal support could play in their post-divorce life.
While older couples face unique concerns in a divorce, it is possible to create a legal strategy that protects your financial health as you begin the next chapter of your life.