Although the average divorce rate in America has begun to decline, for one group in particular, the divorce rate has actually accelerated. Many couples over the age of 50 continue to get divorced at high rates, for many reasons; sometimes the stress of two careers plus family responsibilities wears away at a relationship, or perhaps a couple only stayed together until their youngest child moved out of the home. Whatever the reason, getting divorced later in life presents some unique challenges that divorcees should be aware of.
The Financial Consequences May Be Significant
Getting divorced later in life means that a couple is dividing their hard-earned savings and retirement. Living by yourself is more expensive than living in a multiple-person household with two incomes, so you need to plan carefully. Make sure you know every asset you own together and separately and that your assets are fairly valuated so you can get a fair property division.
When a family has grown up in a house and lived there for many years or even decades, it can be hard to let a house go in a divorce. You may be tempted to keep the house, even if it means trading ownership in other assets. Experts warn against this; even if the sentimental value of the house is great, maintaining a house on your own can be very expensive. If money is a concern, sell the house and split the proceeds so you can get into a smaller, less expensive living space.
Manage Your Debt Carefully
In addition to splitting assets, divorcing couples need to divide their debt, and you may be responsible for your spouse’s debt even if it is not in your name. Get both your and your spouse’s credit reports. Make sure you know exactly how much money you owe, and to whom, and consider paying down debt before filing for divorce.
Plan Your Health Insurance Needs
Spouses are often insured on their partner’s health insurance through work. You may need to switch to coverage through your employer, ask to keep using your ex-spouse’s insurance coverage (while covering the employer’s portion of the premium), or seek insurance through the healthcare exchange. Health insurance can be very expensive at later ages, so plan this portion of your divorce carefully.
Consider Your Kids
In addition to the emotional toll your divorce may take on your kids, you need to consider the impact on your ability to financially support your adult children. You might need to have some honest talks with them about how much you will be able to help moving forward. Although you may understandably want to continue helping them, your first priority needs to be to make sure you have enough to live after retirement on a single income.
Work with a Plano, TX Divorce Attorney
Many adults aged 50 and beyond have gotten successfully divorced and gone on to live happy, independent lives. With the help of a Collin County divorce attorney at Law Office of Brian Bagley, you can ensure your unique needs and concerns are addressed throughout the divorce process. Call our office today at (972) 843-7158, schedule a free consultation, and get started.