Gray divorces, which we have discussed previously on this blog, continue to increase in regularity. While many find the freedom provided through a late-life marriage dissolution exhilarating, others find the process financially debilitating. Sadly, this is especially true for women. By taking the following matters into consideration, it is our hope that more older women will sidestep the oftentimes disastrous financial consequences of a gray divorce.
One of the biggest reasons that women tend to fare worse in divorce is because they agree to keep a marital home in exchange for giving up retirement accounts. Although a family home can carry great sentimental value, it can also be costly. If the home isn’t paid off, then there are mortgage costs in addition to maintenance and taxes. Also, although a home can provide comfort, it doesn’t provide income like a retirement account can.
Another issue of concern during a gray divorce is insurance. Many women rely on their spouse’s insurance that is obtained through their employer. However, once divorce occurs, this insurance can dissipate for a woman, leaving her without adequate and affordable coverage. This can eat deeply into a woman’s finances, which is why she needs to account for these additional expenditures during property division negotiations.
These are just a few of the many considerations that older women need to make before pursuing or otherwise dealing with divorce. Other property division concerns, such as alimony, will also have to be adequately and aggressively addressed if a woman hopes to land on her feet post-divorce. Fortunately, these women don’t have to face these matters on their own. Instead, they can seek the assistance of a skilled divorce attorney who can help them make a play for the assets that matter most both during and after the divorce process.