If you are age 50 or older, ending a long marriage is a particularly distressing experience. But these days, it is far from unique.
More couples experience later-in-life divorce now than even a decade ago, but the road ahead brings some unique financial concerns, especially for women.
Results of divorce
What you want most out of the divorce is financial security. This means that you need to understand your current financial picture and think about how that changes during the property division phase of the proceedings. You are about to split your retirement funds, for example, and depending on whether you receive spousal support, your once-healthy income stream may become more of a trickle.
Time plays a role
As an older woman, you do not have the luxury of time in which to begin a new career. However, to supplement your post-divorce income, you may consider taking a job that provides a steady paycheck. If you are still a member of the workforce, you may have to put off retirement for longer than you anticipated. You may have to learn to budget and downsize your style of living.
Many women believe that they want to keep the marital home. If you are a member of that group, think carefully. The home is an illiquid asset that requires upkeep and the payment of property taxes. You may be better off with liquid assets because as a newly single person, your living expenses are going to double. Remember, too, that many assets will have tax consequences. As to alimony payments, you will want to know the net amount after the deduction of taxes.
Mediation versus litigation
You may be dreading the expense of litigation, but there is an alternative: mediation. To begin with, mediation is a faster, less stressful divorce option. It is also a more economical choice that allows you and your spouse to stay in control and work out a mutually satisfactory agreement. During the mediation process, you can address your concerns, including those financial worries. With knowledgeable and compassionate legal guidance, you can look forward to a secure future.