Growing old comes with its unique set of challenges. And now, people over the age of 50 are divorcing more than ever. About two decades ago, only one in every 10 couples over 50 decided to split. These days, the stats are one in four.
If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage later in life, here are some important things you need to know if you’re over 50 and getting a divorce.
Not Creating an Inventory of Assets
Usually, one spouse has a better understanding of the couple’s finances than the other. If you weren’t the one who handled the money in your marriage, make sure you know what’s in your joint bank accounts and how much your insurance policy and retirement account(s) are worth.
Not Knowing What You Owe
When you decide to divorce, you should know what financial obligations you’ll have once the marriage is over. If you live in a community property state (Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Louisiana, Texas, California, Washington, Wisconsin, or Nevada), you are responsible for your spouse’s debt after your divorce even if the debt is not in your name.
Holding On to the Family Home
While you may not want to move to maintain security for your children or avoid the hassle of getting a new home, it may be challenging to take care of home repairs and upkeep on your own. If it’s more financially sound for you to move, you should do so as quickly as possible.
Forgetting About Health Insurance
If you had a health insurance policy with your former spouse, you’ll need to make sure you’re covered once your marriage ends. Health insurance can be expensive if you don’t have Medicare, so ask if you can get coverage from or use the Affordable Care Act to get a policy that works for you.
Supporting Your Adult Children
Your main financial concern should be preparing for retirement, especially after a divorce. While you may want to make sure your adult children are financially secure, make your financial security a priority first.
Talk to a family law attorney as soon as you decide to end your marriage. A lawyer may be able to assist with getting proper documentation in place to make your divorce as smooth of a transition as possible.