DIVORCE AFTER 55: POSSIBLE FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS TO KNOW ABOUT
The divorce rate of those who are 55 years or older has doubled within the last 20 years.
If you’re headed to court for a so-called “gray divorce” after many years of marriage, chances are that your financial stability for retirement could be at risk.
Organizing assets for the big split
Older spouses have often accrued more assets, which can make splitting them up increasingly difficult. To prepare for this tiresome task, start making a list of all of the assets you acquired during your marriage that were not specifically gifted or inherited to you exclusively.
If this list is nearly everything you own, you may want to start with high-price items. For antiques, a professional may be used to assess the value of your items.
Be aware that if your marriage lasted more than 10 years, your 401k, social security benefits, retirement savings and pension are all likely to be split in the divorce proceedings.
Seeking spousal support
Studies have found that 27 percent of women over age 50 wind up living at or below the poverty level when they get divorced.
Older women who sacrificed a career to raise their family are most likely to face this financial hardship. However, a skilled attorney may be able to help you seek spousal support to supplement your finances after divorce.
The amount of spousal support that is awarded is usually determined by whatever amount is required to maintain the lifestyle the spouse had prior to divorce, rather than meeting just the bare necessities.a
Avoiding financial crisis
Grey divorces usually take a long time and can be costly. However, baring the expense of an attorney is likely to be the best way to get a financially feasible outcome from the proceeding.
Someone who has experience navigating California family law can guide you through the proceeding by helping you gather necessary legal documents, make negotiations in your favor, organize your assets, seek spousal support and file the resulting paperwork.