Technology has changed lifestyles and life spans. As Americans continue to live longer and longer, our personal lives take a new trajectory. One noted change in the past half-century is the rise in divorce for those over the age of 50.
Different ages, different needs
Commonly called “gray divorce,” later-life divorce has increased while divorce rates have stabilized overall. In other words, fewer young people are getting divorced right now, but older Californians are getting divorced more than ever before.
Reasons for divorce vary with each couple. Some struggle through an unhappy marriage until the children are grown, some relationships grow stagnant over time, and some people simply change perspectives as they age. With many Americans living into their 80s and beyond, there are decades of life beyond retirement. Women today have greater financial independence than previous generations, which also makes divorce less burdensome than in the past.
A focus on property instead of children
While gray divorce has become more accepted and more common, different periods of your life have different needs. When divorcing after age 50, the concern shifts from children to assets. People attain more complex property as they get older, such as real estate, businesses, stocks and retirement plans. The focus in this age group looks at financial management, planning for life on a fixed income. It’s essential to keep this in mind during your settlement.
When dealing with complex business structures, property and retirement plans built around distribution and tax incentives, a miscalculation can change the long-term picture significantly. The agreement to dissolve a marriage may be easier than finding a financial division that works for both parties. With high stakes concerning penalties and title transfers, it’s important to enlist the help of an experienced attorney who understands the true cost of asset transactions.
Adapting plans to fit your new situation
Most Americans spend their lives looking ahead to retirement. While gray divorce may influence your lifestyle, it’s possible to find a settlement that provides for your future and your fresh start at the same time. Getting divorced later in life changes your personal situation, but it shouldn’t uproot those long-established plans.