Tips On Making Equitable Decisions In A Later In Life Divorce

A November 2014 USA Today article explored the increasing trend of “gray divorces” or married couples in their 50s and older choosing to part ways. According to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green University, the rate for divorce among adults ages 50 and older doubled divorce assets debtsbetween 1990 and 2010. This data fleshes out the fact that Baby Boomers are far more likely than their parents to choose to end their marriages, perhaps deciding being happy is more important than maintaining the status quo in a failed marriage. Though the option of a “gray marriage” can be liberating in many ways, it can lead to monetary complications younger divorcees likely don’t experience due to more money on the line and less time to rebuild financial nest eggs. The following are some tips in making an equitable decision by protecting your financial interests during a later in life divorce.

Identify All Assets And Debts

It’s just a reality that the divorce process becomes more complex with several decades of accumulated assets and debts factored in. To begin the process of dividing your marital financial estate, you need to identify everything owned and owed leaving no stone unturned. This means locating every bank account, retirement fund, investment account, insurance policy, etc. Your search should be exhaustive and should include accounts for jointly held assets or debts as well as those that are separately maintained.

It’s Important To Factor In Healthcare Costs

When twenty or thirty something couples divorce, maintaining health insurance is seldom a major part of the divorce process. However, for couples in their fifties or sixties, this can be a crucial issue. When one spouse is covered under the other spouse’s insurance plan, it can be extremely difficult shopping around for new coverage later in life that is on par from a cost standpoint with existing coverage, specifically if the spouse seeking new coverage has a preexisting condition.  Any new costs associated with obtaining new healthcare should be a part of your strategy when assessing the overall cost of the divorce.

With decades of assets and debt to sort through, it can certainly seem overwhelming for couples considering divorce later in life. The best advice is to seek the services of an experienced, competent family law attorney who can guide you through an equitable plan. Contact Donna Wagner for a free consultation.

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