With the number of divorces for people over 50 increasing, some older residents in the Washington, D.C., and Maryland areas might be facing the end of their marriages. A so-called “gray divorce” has some particularities because people are older and closer to retirement. There are a few common errors people make during the process but there are ways to prevent them.
Divorce can be complicated by intense emotions but making decisions at the end of the marriage based on these can lead to issues that affect you afterward. Your feelings about your estranged spouse might lead you to think it is okay to hide assets from them or fight to keep a home you cannot afford. One way to work around these emotions is to gather a team of professionals to support you during the divorce process, including your family lawyer and financial professionals.
Throughout their years of marriage, a couple might gather a significant amount of assets and debt. During negotiations, it is important to be aware of this to work towards a fair settlement. To avoid making financial mistakes, make sure you consider all aspects of your financial situation, including:
- Being fully aware of the assets and debts
- Considering what health insurance costs will be after the divorce
- Understanding how fees and taxes work when splitting or rolling over retirement accounts
- Learning about the tax implications of the financial decisions made during divorce
Another type of common error during a gray divorce is a lack of planning, both before the divorce and for the future. Before the process begins, make a comprehensive list of all your assets and debts and gather supporting documents. Additionally, you should also make a realistic budget for life after divorce since financially, you might be facing a different reality that might impact your quality of life.
Thinking about life as a single older person might seem overwhelming. Extensive planning, keeping emotions out of negotiations and relaying a strong support team can be valuable help to getting your where you want to be.