The divorce rate for couples over the age of fifty has doubled since the 1990s. Divorcing later in life can create unexpected financial challenges and can also shift financial decision-making to a spouse that is not accustomed to making those types of decisions. The impact of gray divorce, as the phenomenon of couples divorcing over the age of 50 is referred to, illustrates the importance of spouses being familiar with their overall financial picture.
When couples divorce, they will need to resolve divorce-related issues such as property division and alimony. When dividing property, each spouse should be familiar with their full financial situation which can also help them prioritize property division concerns, allowing the couple to negotiate a property division settlement that is best for both couples financially moving forward into the future. When couples are unable to agree, the court can help but it is still helpful for spouses to be familiar with their financial situation.
It is also important during the property division process to fully disclose all financial information to the other spouse during the divorce. At times, certain assets may require financial experts for valuation. In addition, other assets, including businesses, retirement accounts, such as 401ks, and others can be complex to divide. For all of those reasons, both spouses should be involved in financial and wealth management decisions and be familiar with their finances during the divorce and property division processes.
Divorce can be challenging at any point in life but may be especially financially challenging later in life. As a result, it is helpful for divorcing spouses at any age to be familiar with the divorce and property division process, and what to expect from it, which may help them enjoy a smoother divorce process.
Source: MSN.com, "Rise of 'gray' divorce is forcing a financial reckoning after 50," Suzanne Woolley, April 14, 2018