As life expectancy increases new challenges arise. Increased lifespan is cited as one of the reasons for the increase in what some experts call a “gray” divorce – those divorces occurring later in life, sometimes at retirement age or after.
The prospect of staying married to the same person for a longer time can be a catalyst for some people to divorce. The idea of being in an unhappy marriage is less appealing when faced with an additional 20-30 years of life together. With a divorce later in life, the issues can be complicated, especially when it comes to financial matters.
Gray Divorces Complicate Retirement Planning
A divorce at a later stage in life can greatly impact retirement plans for both parties. What was once a unified approach now needs to be divided. Many spouses who have stayed at home or spent less time in the workforce have less time to plan ahead or earn more income to put towards retirement.
It should come as no surprise that in divorces for couples over 50, the main issues in dispute are usually:
- Alimony/spousal support
- Retirement accounts and pensions
- Business interests
There are a number of options for tackling these tough issues during a divorce. Both parties are wise to seek the expert advice of a divorce attorney, a divorce financial expert and tax professionals. You will want advice on the legal implications of any property division as well as the tax and financial pros and cons.
Many assets are not created equal and careful consideration must be made as you delve into the challenges each present. While you may have more life experience the older you get, you can still benefit from the counsel of seasoned divorce professionals if you are facing a divorce at a time later in your life.