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Financial considerations for divorcees over 50

98229461_S.jpgEven though the divorce rate overall has declined in the United States over the last 20 years, one group has seen a significant rise in divorce: couples over age 50. Over the years, the trend has become so prevalent it even acquired its own name, gray divorce.

Although in some ways, divorce later in life is "easier," as there are generally fewer issues of child custody and support, there remain significant financial challenges for those choosing to divorce near retirement.

More valuable assets, more problems

Couples over 50 typically own their home and have built up retirement funds to last through their later years. In a divorce, these assets are split. The following assets are especially important in a gray divorce:

  • Social Security benefits
  • Pension plans
  • 401(k)s
  • IRAs
  • Investment assets

Since Missouri is an equitable division state, courts can use a more creative approach to dividing these assets. Rather than splitting everything 50/50, one spouse might take the pension while the other takes another asset of equal value.

Dealing with financial setbacks

Handling financial issues in a divorce with care is especially crucial when spouses are nearing retirement or are already retired. Couples over 50 are looking at a closing pool of assets, meaning they have fewer opportunities to recover from financial setbacks like losing assets in a divorce. For example, one spouse might feel very strongly that they should keep the marital home in the divorce. However, with limited time left in the workforce, they may regret that decision later on when their other financial assets dwindle.  

If you are over 50 and considering divorce, consulting with an experienced Missouri divorce attorney can help you protect your financial interests.

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