Divorce can be a very challenging process for many. There has been an upward shift in divorce after 50. Researchers coin the phrase “Gray Divorce” to describe this. The National Center for Family & Marriage Research reports the divorce rate among adults over age 50 doubled and tripled for those over 65 between 1990 and 2014.
Living on a Single Income
The biggest issue many individuals face once are out on their own is that they cannot live on just one income. Once you near retirement age, you simply run out of time and cannot save enough to supplement the later years. If you are contemplating divorce in your later years, be aware of the potential financial strains. It may mean that neither of you can keep the marital residence. It might be wise to sell it and both buy something cheaper or rent where you live. Divorce often means dividing the retirement accounts and other financial accounts leaving half as much to live on in retirement years.
Once divorced, you need to remember to change the beneficiaries on life insurance, retirement accounts, etc. You would not necessarily want your ex-spouse to receive these assets at your death simply because you failed to change the beneficiary. You also need to do an updated will. Other considerations are that if you have had a long term marriage, courts often award alimony to one spouse and assets are usually divided equally.
If you have experienced any of this or will be going through a divorce later in life, it may be a good idea to speak to an attorney about your financial situation and even a financial planner. If you have debt you inherited from a divorce and cannot pay it, our Bond & Botes offices offer a free, no obligation consultation. Don’t wait until it is too late to protect what you do have.
Heather Ellis Banks is an Associate Attorney at the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Knoxville, Tennessee. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Tennessee Knoxville, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Memphis, Cecil.C. Humphreys School of Law. She has been helping consumers to navigate through the bankruptcy process since 2005. Read her full bio here.