Although the Millennial generation often makes headlines due to its members’ tendencies to shun traditional marriage in favor of cohabitation, there’s a silent divorce epidemic taking place among their parents — Baby Boomers. With the “gray divorce” rate on the rise while other generations’ divorce rates are dropping, you may have plenty of company when choosing to end your marriage. However, rushing into a divorce without getting your financial ducks in a row first can be a disastrous decision that leaves you little time to recover before retirement.
What Financial Impact Can A Later-In-Life Divorce Have?
Many, desperate to hang on to any semblance of their married lives, will continue to keep their primary homes following divorce. Unfortunately, this can often mean retirement accounts and other investments take short shrift, as the upkeep and maintenance of a home can be costly when dealing with a reduced household income.
Divorcing later in life can also present cash flow problems if one spouse has been a stay-at-home parent for most of the other’s career. The higher-earning spouse may be required to pay alimony until the lower-earning spouse is able to find gainful employment.
Simply adjusting to life on a single income is a challenge for most, particularly those who have spent many years benefiting from being part of a two-income household.
What Should You Do When Seeking A Divorce From A Long-Term Spouse?
First, you’ll want to get a handle on the household finances. This is even more important if your spouse has traditionally taken care of money matters — without some way to track down accounts and balances, you’ll be at the mercy of any notes your spouse has left when trying to determine the amount of your marital assets. According to Patty M. Estopinal, certified divorce financial analyst at Baird in Roseville, California, gathering your last few tax returns can often shed some light on unexplained transactions. High net worth estates may even want to hire a forensic analyst to ensure that no funds have been squandered.
It’s always important to seek legal counsel when divorcing, whether you’ve been together only a year or a decade. However, grey divorce can often pose some complex considerations, making it even more imperative to seek the advice of an attorney before making any permanent decisions. Handling this matter carefully with the assistance of an experienced attorney can put you in a much better position for future financial stability following your later-in-life divorce.
At Heinrich Christian, PLLC, we have decades of experience helping people of all ages through the divorce process. You can be confident in our ability to identify your specific needs and help you overcome any obstacles that stand between you and future happiness.