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Does Late-Life Divorce Destroy Retirement?

A report from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio shows that the divorce rate among people 50 or older has doubled over the last two decades. Now, so-called gray divorces account for twenty-five percent of all divorces. Those divorcing later in life will face unique challenges.

Serious Financial Concerns

An article from the Washington Post details the impact that divorcing later in life can have on finances and retirement. The reality is that when most couples plan for retirement, they plan on being able to pool their financial resources. They plan on only having to cover one set of costs, including the costs associated with only one household. Getting divorced throws a wrench into that plan.

When thinking about divorce and financial matters, the issue that typically rises to the surface is the division of property. In Ohio, all assets acquired during a marriage are considered marital property and are subject to division, including retirement accounts.

However, this is not the only concern. Not only are assets going to be split, costs are essentially going to double. Each spouse will now be responsible for his or her own house payments, upkeep costs, travel expenses and more. Each spouse will now go to visit children or grandchildren separately, and little costs like that can add up quickly.

Is It Possible To Live Comfortably After A Gray Divorce?

The article paints a bleak picture, closing with a line about how divorce is not about money, but happiness. Nonetheless, with careful handling, it is possible to be happy and live comfortably after divorcing later in life. This is where you can benefit from having a dedicated attorney on your side.

An attorney with experience can consider not only the current value of assets, but the future value as well. An experienced attorney can protect your separate property that may not be subject to division, can identify attempts by your spouse to hide assets and can work with your accountant or financial planner to create a strategy designed to get you through this in a manner that leaves you financially secure and able to follow-through on your dreams of retirement.

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