Divorce rates are dropping for couples younger than 45 years-old but raising for older couples. The rate of divorce for couples age 50 and older has doubled in the past 30 years. Because divorce for older couples has become more common, it is often referred to as a gray divorce.
Divorce at any age is very emotionally and financially draining but divorce after 50 may be especially harmful to your emotional and financial health.
Divorcing later in life may cause your finances to decrease by 50%. Older couples are not bouncing back after divorce like younger couples are. Older divorcees don’t have enough time left in their careers to make up for the financial loss.
In addition, men saw a 21% decrease in their standard of living after gray divorce compared to women whose standard of living decreased by 45%.
The importance of protecting your assets
Because it is so difficult for older individuals to earn their money back after divorce, protecting their assets may be crucial.
It becomes increasingly difficult to protect your assets after many years of investing together. The most effective way to protect your assets is to close your joint bank account and keep all legal documentation that has your signature.
The most difficult part for many gray divorce couples is the division of retirement funds. If both spouses are nearing retirement, splitting funds could be financially devastating. Just because they are in your name does not mean you are entitled to the full amount.
Retirement accounts are usually divided equally but can be divided in favor of one party. If one party can prove that they were the main contributor to the account, they may get a higher portion of the funds.