If you and your spouse are facing divorce after decades of marriage, you no doubt wonder how well you will manage on your own.
A later-in-life divorce brings unique challenges you would not have faced at a younger age.
Why it happens
Divorce among seniors has become increasingly common. A 2017 report from the Pew Research Center shows that the current divorce rate among people aged 50 or older is almost double the rate from the 1990s. In addition, the National Center for Health Statistics reveals that for people 65 and older, the divorce rate tripled from 1990 to 2015.
There are various reasons for later-in-life divorce. For one thing, some couples simply grow apart over time. People are living longer, and couples may want to go their separate ways rather than remain in a stagnant or unhappy marriage.
What to consider
One of the primary post-divorce objectives will be your financial security. Choosing mediation instead of litigation is a good choice since this private, less stressful option is often less expensive.
You should also become knowledgeable about your current financial situation, so you know what to expect going forward. The divorce will cut the income you received in your marriage in half. You will have to maintain a new budget and likely learn to make do with less.
Alimony will be important to you, but if you have been out of the workforce for some time, you might consider getting a job. A second income will provide you with a financial cushion in the event the support from your soon-to-be-ex ever ceases.
How to cope
Divorce is one of the most emotional events anyone can experience. For those who part ways later in life, it can result in especially challenging issues. Remember that taxes may apply to certain assets you acquire in the property division phase of your divorce. Moreover, deciding to keep an illiquid asset, such as the marital home, may have a detrimental effect on your budget. Because you have unique problems to solve at this point in your life, divorce is a time to make careful and informed decisions so that you can enjoy a secure financial future.