The divorce rate continues to increase among older couples. Commonly referred to as "gray divorce," Pew Research shows a 109 percent increase in the divorce rate among couples age 50 and older in the United States.
Divorce at any age has financial challenges. However, older couples face unique issues that can significantly impact their retirement goals and overall quality of life after their divorce is finalized. Individuals age 50 and older should work with their divorce attorney to review their financial goals before negotiating their divorce agreement.
How to protect your financial goals
What should older individuals think about when it comes to protecting their financial goals during divorce? Here are a few things to consider:
- Retirement funds: Retirement plans and pensions will be divided between both spouses. Do not forget to consider the tax implications of splitting retirement funds.
- Property: Do not forget to get a proper valuation of the family home and any other property. Some couples choose to sell the home and split the profit while other families may have one spouse buy-out the other spouse to stay living in the home.
- Alimony: Alimony is based on how many years you were married. Alimony may have a lifetime award based on the length of the marriage.
- Debt: Couples will need to split shared debt. Make sure you have a clear understanding of marital debt and how it may need to be divided.
It is important to understand the financial implications of you divorce to help you plan for the future. Your attorney can help you review and understand how your divorce will impact your current and long-term financial goals. Knowing how your divorce may affect your retirement goals and other financial plans will reduce surprises along the way and help you create a new financial plan for life after divorce.