Divorcing after a long marriage
Ohio couples may be part of an increasing trend noted by a vice president from Fidelity Investments. According to the woman, people who are over the age of 50 are ending marriages in greater numbers. In the 1990s only 10 percent of couples obtaining a divorce were older than 50. That statistic has risen to 25 percent in recent years. For a divorcing spouse who has not maintained personal income or handled household finances during the marriage, the new financial independence can be a serious challenge. Preparation and planning can ease the transition back to single life and reduce financial instability.
The best place to begin is by assembling a complete picture of the couple’s economic situation, including retirement funds, accounts at banks and other financial accoutrements. Individual credit scores should also be investigated as spouses may develop widely divergent credit histories over the years if only party handled household finances. In addition, a person should create a savings account to handle any unexpected costs that may surface during proceedings.
It is also important to remove names from the deeds on any property or accounts that were given up in the divorce to avoid liability for the other party’s actions. Additionally, decisions about property, such as a house, should be made with realistic expectations in mind because the asset often involves substantial costs for maintenance.
Keeping track of the different factors that affect financial stability after a divorce is often difficult and time consuming. However, older individuals who are filing for divorce might choose to work with a family law attorney. That attorney may be able to review the necessary documents and help a client pursue an equitable distribution of marital assets, allowing both parties to maintain current living standards after the marriage is dissolved.
Source: FOX Business, “Divorcing Baby Boomers: How to Get a Financial Grip“, Donna Fuscaldo, April 30, 2014