Older Florida couples who have made the decision to end their marriage might face some difficult financial decisions in addition to the emotional turmoil of divorce. Divorce after 50, often referred to as a gray divorce, usually impacts each spouse’s finances negatively as they transition into single life.
Decreasing wealth and increasing expenses
When older couples get a divorce, their individual wealth decreases significantly, with women’s wealth dropping about 45% and men’s wealth dropping about 21%. At the same time, as each person sets up their own household, expenses increase, since each spouse has their own bills to pay for maintaining each household. This can set up a challenging situation for both spouses, particularly as they look towards retirement, and those funds have to be divided as well.
Financial planning during divorce negotiations
To offset the negative impact a gray divorce can have on finances, you should prepare carefully for the divorce negotiations. Some of the things you should keep in mind as you begin planning for the divorce negotiations include:
- Identifying all assets and their supporting documentation
- Speaking to a financial expert who can find hidden assets if you suspect your spouse of hiding them
- Figuring out the costs of upkeep of the family home and if it is worth it to fight for it
- Understanding retirement accounts and how they will be divided
- Comparing social security benefits that can be received from your work record versus from your spouse’s work record
- The tax implications of all decisions you make as they can affect the long-term values of the assets
There are also some things you can do to protect your interests afterward. If you are receiving spousal support, for example, you might require a life insurance policy with you as the beneficiary as part of the divorce settlement. It is important to get all agreements in writing to protect your interests.