While recent studies have shown that overall divorce rates in America are declining, there is evidence that suggests more older adults are filing for divorce than ever before. A few years ago, a report authored by Susan L. Brown and I-Fen Lin, two sociologists at Bowling Green State University, discussed what the researchers described as “The Gray Divorce Revolution,” or the rising rates of divorce among both middle-aged adults and seniors in America. Brown and Lin used the term “gray divorce” to refer to adults ages 50 and older who were making the decision to dissolve their unions, many after decades of marriage.
Through that report, we have learned that the divorce rate among adults aged 50 and older doubled over the 20-year period between 1990 and 2010. As such, the report intimated that researchers need to focus more specifically on seniors and the “predictors and consequences of divorces that occur during middle and later life.” According to an article from U.S. News & World Report, women involved in gray divorces may be particularly hard hit in terms of finances. If you are thinking about filing for divorce in Clinton Township, MI, what do you need to know about women and gray divorce?
As the U.S. News & World Report article makes clear, no matter what age you are, divorce is difficult and often results in some financial setbacks. However, for older adults who make the decision to divorce when they are nearing the age of retirement or after they have already retired, the financial impact of divorce can be more pronounced and perhaps more far-reaching. In particular, for women who “may have been out of the workforce” for years during their marriage, divorce can be especially challenging financially. And even when older women who get divorced are able to return relatively quickly to the workforce, “women earn less than men.” Moreover, the article underscores that “women usually live longer than men, which means they need to have enough money to support themselves later in life.”
Another issue, the article suggests, is that many older women are concerned about the emotional implications of divorce. As such, women often want to get the divorce over “quickly without thinking about the long-term ramifications.” When emotional considerations take precedence to economic ones, “that is financial suicide,” a financial analyst cited in the article argues.
What can women do if they are thinking about filing for divorce later in life? First, it is important to ensure that all marital assets are properly accounted for prior to property division. Women can record images of all items of value in the home, from artworks to automobiles that may be kept in the garage. Even if older women do not anticipate that their husbands will attempt to hide assets, it is essential that all assets are properly identified so that they can be valued.
Women should also think about property division. Many women want to keep the family home, but this can mean that they will not receive other liquid assets. When it comes time to make tax payments on the property, keeping the family home can turn out to be a bad idea. Moreover, houses require regular upkeep, which requires money. To be sure, the article notes that “receiving illiquid assets like houses or businesses can mean reduced cash flow, which can be problematic.” And women should keep in mind that expenses tend to double after divorce—there are no longer two people to share expenses as during a marriage.
Do you need help planning financially for your divorce? A Clinton township divorce attorneys can assist you. Contact Iafrate & Salassa, P.C. today.
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