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Divorcing After 50: Important Financial Considerations

A divorce can occur at any point within a marriage. This is true even for couples who have been to together for several decades. If you're over the age of 50 and are approaching this change, knowing some of the obstacles ahead, particularly when it comes to finances, is critical to your journey forward.

Shared Debt

By the time you reach this milestone in life, it's highly likely that you and your partner have amassed some level of shared debt. Whether the divorce is handled through mediation or a judge, having a clear record of these debts is very important.

In the case of a mediated divorce, if a shared debt is not included in the record by accident, either party could be left to pay for it on their own. If you don't want to face this type of outcome, you can begin by reviewing your bank records to establish a record of all the debts you two share, and for a more thorough record, you can access a credit report.

Health Insurance

At this stage in life, access to health care is very important. If you receive your coverage through your spouse, planning a path forward to ensure you have access to the care you need is vital. After a divorce, many states allow the separated spouse to continue to receive coverage for a period, such as three years. With this option, you will get to continue your plan, but you will be required to pay your portion of the premium.

It's important to note that in some instances, such as if your spouse is a retired military member, your health insurance coverage may remain intact until you get married again.

Living Expenses

With a divorce after fifty, either party may already be retired or swiftly approaching this milestone. Given the fixed income that you will be living on after you retire, it is critical to be accurate when it comes to your living expenses as they will be higher when you're divorced than they were when you were married.

When dividing financial assets, determining alimony and coming up with other financial arrangements, should not be based on your current household income as this includes contributions from both you and your spouse. Remove your spouse's contributions so you can see your earnings alone and what you will need to survive going forward.

Divorce at any age can be a struggle and complicated, but an attorney can help. A family law attorney will take into account your stage in life to help you settle with your needs, with both the short and long-term, in mind.