Despite potential financial consequences, well over half of all divorces over the age of 50 are initiated by women who tend to fair worse financially than men after a divorce. For many women, a chance at happiness and independence trump the financial security of marriage.
Certainly, after 50, it is not uncommon for the glue that holds a marriage together to dissolve – children grow up, activities and interests couples once shared may change, financial dependence becomes less of a factor – any of which could lead to a divorce. Other times, years of dissatisfaction caused by ongoing abuse, cheating, or issues with alcohol or drug abuse finally takes it toll and a spouse may decide enough is enough. Whatever the reason someone decides to divorce later it life, it is important to consider any financial consequences and make a plan.
Handling the Expense of a Single Household After Divorce
Divorce translates into a higher cost of living. Older couples who have shared household expenses over the years will incur more costs when living apart. It is helpful to determine income and expenses and set up a budget to ensure success.
Dividing Retirement Funds in a Divorce
Of particular interest to older women considering divorce are retirement funds that are subject to the division of marital property. There will be less time to recoup losses, pay off debt, and weather stock market fluctuations before retiring, so careful planning to stretch retirement funds is key.
Retaining the Family Home in a Divorce
If one spouse wants to stay in the family home, it is a good idea to decide if keeping it makes good financial sense. It is important to figure out if a mortgage is affordable as well as the upkeep, taxes, insurance, and emergency repairs. Alternatively, a house can be sold and the proceeds divided to finance a more affordable option.
Covering Health Insurance After Divorce
If a divorcing spouse’s health insurance is covered by their spouse, they will have to secure their own policy. Although existing coverage can be extended via COBRA for up to 36 months, it is expensive. Alternatives may be found through health care marketplace policies which are income dependent or a variety of lower cost short term plans until the age of 65 when Medicare becomes available.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Lawyer
Despite the financial hurdles, women who divorce after 50 often figure out ways to make it work. Long term marriages may translate into permanent spousal maintenance for a lesser earning spouse, which can help make ends meet. When it comes to dividing marital property in a divorce – retirement funds, pensions, stocks, bank accounts, real property, personal property and more – are equitably divided providing assets women may need after the divorce. If you have questions regarding divorce contact the Libertyville family law office of Ronald L Bell & Associates P.C. for immediate assistance today.