We have all heard how more than 50% of marriages in America end in divorce. What many do not know, however, is that the number of couples experiencing divorce later in life is rising, particularly in regards to individuals age 50 and older. While a divorce at any stage of life can be financially and emotionally devastating, divorces between older couples (commonly referred to as silver or gray divorces) tend to have far greater stakes as the divorcing spouses have often spent a lifetime accumulating assets and building a life together. Fortunately, there are numerous things that couples can do to survive and even thrive after a gray divorce.
If you are approaching a divorce over age 50, the following factors can be key in helping you get through your separation and press forward afterward:
- Assemble a powerful team: Consult with a knowledgeable attorney to discover your legal options and ensure your rights are guarded at all times. Similarly, seeking the assistance of a forensic accountant and financial planner can help ensure your assets are identified and properly valued.
- Prioritize your financial security: In many cases, the primary caregiver may choose to keep the family home rather than selling it due to sentimental value or in order to take the home equity in the place of liquid retirement assets. Unfortunately, homes are not liquid and can leave you in financial straits in the event of an emergency or decline in housing values. Instead, consider selling the home and moving to a place you can easily afford.
- Plan for healthcare: Gray divorces can throw a wrench in the gears regarding healthcare as many individuals rely on their spouse’s employer’s health plan. Since Medicare will not be available until you turn 65, consider purchasing long-term care insurance to compensate for the lack of your spouse’s income as a safety net.
- Consider inheritances: One of the main concerns for gray divorcees is preserving inheritances for their children. Be sure to discuss with your attorney ways in which you can continue to provide financial support to your children, such as helping them pay for graduate school or weddings.
While nobody ever wants to consider the possibility of a marriage once thought to last forever coming to an end, divorce may sometimes be a necessary solution to help spouses move forward and pursue long-term happiness. If you are involved in a gray divorce, contact the Oklahoma City divorce attorneys at Mazaheri Law Firm today. With nearly 20 years of family law experience, we have what it takes to protect your best interests and help you get through this difficult experience with as little stress as possible. Contact our office online today to get started towards retaining the quality advocacy you need.