How to Navigate Your Divorce After Age 50

How to Navigate Your Divorce After Age 50

The number of couples divorcing over the age of 50 has nearly doubled in the past 25 years. Rarely do these divorces happen because of a sudden trigger; the most prevalent reason given is typically “We just grew apart”.

Divorcing at an older age means you are in a different stage of life, and thus, there is a new set of circumstances and things that will need to be done to ensure a smoother transition through your divorce. Consider these tips:

Be open to selling the house. While you may have many good memories attached to your home, you should be open to selling it. Maintaining and paying for a home on your own, especially if you’re on a fixed income, can be difficult. Besides not needing as much space, you also don’t need the extra financial commitment. As you decide whether to stay or go, first determine if you can afford it. From there, you’ll want to take a look at property value and if it is a good time to sell or not.

Re-entering the job market after divorce. If you’re re-entering the job market after divorce, research and plan ahead of time so terms can be figured into the settlement package to accommodate your transition. Not including a complete picture of your finances when you divorce can hurt you in the long run. Figure out what you will be earning approximately at your new job so that it can be figured into your budget. This is one of many financial considerations that need to be thought out ahead of your divorce settlement.

Don’t go it alone. Lean on family, friends, a therapist and/or divorce support group. Going through a divorce can be very emotional, especially if you’ve been married for a long time. Lean on friends you can confide in and go to if you need a shoulder to cry on. You may also want to consider a therapist or divorce support group to help get you through this time; sometimes an objective viewpoint from either one of those parties can be beneficial. Don’t feel bad about needing emotional support during this time of change!

Consider hiring a certified divorce financial analyst. Hiring your own certified divorce financial analyst can be the difference between an agreeable settlement and financial disaster. Too often in divorces, spouses hire their own lawyer but not their own financial adviser. It’s a mistake that many wealthy people make, unfortunately, this mistake can make you a lot less wealthy. A certified divorce analyst can advise you on how to split everything from social security to retirement accounts and other assets.

Educate yourself about your financial circumstances, as much as you can. Going from a double income household to a single income household whether you’re still working or collecting social security, is an adjustment. Going in blindly can result in major financial troubles. You need to not only be aware of your monthly bills but also how much money you’ll have left once everything is paid. I typically always recommend consulting a financial advisor to help you understand and get a clear picture of your finances, both current and future.

In the end, it’s important to take your time and make sure you have covered all of the aspects of divorce. It is a life-changing event…one that you can navigate successfully with the right guidance and team of professionals.