Divorce rates among mature adults continue to rise. The data shows that couples older than age 65 are divorcing three times more often than the past generation. These “gray divorces” can have devastating consequences without careful planning, and many do not realize the special issues that come into play during a later-in-life divorce.
A lifetime of retirement savings is often inadequate to live on when a New York couple splits it in a divorce. Unlike those who divorce in their 30s or 40s, couples past retirement have fewer resources for rebuilding their wealth if they must divide it in a divorce.
Advocating for a secure future
If one spouse left the workforce to raise the children or keep house, he or she will not have a pension to rely on. It is critical that the division of marital assets be fair, taking into account these discrepancies in resources. Next, the following factors could play a crucial role in a spouse’s financial well-being following a gray divorce:
- Each spouse’s rights for drawing Social Security
- Health insurance, including coverage for long-term care
- Tax implications, such as for investments and capital gains on the sale of property
- Spousal support, which may involve a life insurance policy on the payor
- Revisions for estate plans, including updating one’s beneficiaries
There are certainly emotional issues to consider at this difficult time. However, those may intensify when a former spouse must also deal with financial challenges. Spouses in New York and elsewhere often have to adjust their expectations in light of a gray divorce, but having skilled legal counsel can minimize the negative outcomes.