“Gray divorce” is a relatively recent phenomenon that describes the surge in divorce rates among older couples who usually over the age of 50 and have been married for several decades. This divorce trend can be attributed to a variety of factors, namely the increased life expectancy of people, changing cultural norms among divorcing Baby Boomers, and growing financial independence among older women.
With gray divorces, there are several unique issues that couples must consider. As couples get closer to retirement age, it is important that they think about their financial security and how to make sure that they can enjoy themselves well into their golden years.
Tips for older men and women who are thinking about divorce:
Gather your financial records.
Collect records of your bank accounts, tax returns, financial statements, retirement accounts, pension plans, IRAs, 401ks, and other assets. During the divorce process, your divorce attorney and financial experts will need to evaluate all of the marital assets and decide how to divide them equitably.
Divorces that span decades will usually have many joint assets and accounts that can be difficult to distribute to each party. Gather a team that you trust and with experience handling complex divorces.
Change your beneficiaries.
Don’t forget to change beneficiaries in your will or other estate planning documents once the divorce is over. If you have your spouse still listed, he or she will receive your assets in the event you pass away. Updating your wills and trusts should be the first thing anyone does after a major life change such as a divorce.
Consider whether you can afford to keep the family home
You may want to keep the house, but can you afford the payments? Do you have the resources to pay for the property tax, repairs, and other maintenance that is required in the upkeep of a home?
The family home is one of the most valuable assets, but the costs to keep it may become an issue in the future. Talk to a financial expert or an attorney to help you decide whether it would be wiser in the long-run to liquidate the asset or keep your home.
Plan for your financial security.
Many gray divorce couples are nearing retirement age. Make sure that you plan for your long-term stability by creating realistic budgets, planning for Social Security income, getting a life insurance policy, and monitoring your spending habits.
Don’t be afraid to ask for spousal support either. If you were a stay at home spouse during most of the marriage, you likely do not have a reliable source of income or savings to fall back on.
Fresno Divorce Attorneys Guiding Clients Through Divorce
Whether you are divorcing young or at an older age, divorce is never easy. Call the Arnold Law Group, APC and learn more about what our divorce lawyers in Fresno can do to help you get through one of the toughest moments of your life. We can listen to your situation, address your concerns, and steer you towards a solution that makes sense for your future.
Call (559) 900-1263 or schedule a consultation online.