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How might gray divorce affect your finances?

Ending a marriage at any age can complicate your financial situation. However, if you go through a divorce after the age of 50, which is often referred to as gray divorce, you may have additional questions about the future.

On its own, nearing the end of your career can significantly affect decisions about expenditures. In addition, however, drawing a long marriage to a close could likely result in spousal support payments and the division of retirement savings. So, what should you consider before you agree to settlement terms?

Three questions you might ask throughout your divorce process

Although every couple’s settlement is different, some common financial concerns remain. For example:

  • Can I keep the house? For younger couples with children, the custodial parent typically stays in the family home. Depending on the type of living arrangement in question, you might be wise to consider whether you could afford to cover monthly expenses and regular upkeep on your own. Additionally, compromise can be difficult for older couples with many shared memories and attachments to a residence. Therefore, it may be preferable to sell your real property and divide the proceeds accordingly.
  • Do I have rights to my former spouse’s pension? According to the court, funds earned since your wedding may be considered marital property. However, you might consider negotiating the designation of other shared assets between the two of you rather than dividing every account. Either way, be sure you understand the total amount of money at stake.
  • Will my Social Security income change? Many older adults depend on government benefits as they transition into retirement. If your marriage lasted at least ten years, you may be eligible to claim up to 50% of your ex’s benefits. That amount could change, however, if you remarry or begin collecting benefits before you reach the full retirement age.

Regardless of the reasons that led to your divorce, it is important to focus on your future.

Along with the many emotions that arise at the conclusion of a relationship, complicated financial issues typically surface as well. However, with wise counsel, you may be able to obtain the settlement results you desire as you look forward to your golden years.