While divorce rates have been steadily dropping for much of the U.S. adult population in recent decades, there is one notable exception. Divorce rates among couples aged 50 and older have been increasing significantly. This is often referred to as “grey divorce.”
There are numerous reasons for this, including the fact that people are living longer than they used to, and many don’t want to spend their latter decades in marriages they find unfulfilling. There are some definite advantages to divorcing in later life, like not having to worry about a child custody dispute because your children are already grown. But grey divorce comes with at least one significant risk: financial hardship during your retirement years.
Living as two separate individuals costs more money than living together and sharing expenses as a married couple. If your retirement savings plan had been premised on staying together, you may not have saved enough. And the later in life you get divorced, the less time you will have to save for your altered retirement plans.
A smooth, efficient divorce is key
The costs of the divorce itself will likely reduce assets at a time when they need to be preserved. Therefore, it is important to keep costs reasonable by not engaging in unnecessary disputes or delays. If you are able to work out most property division issues on your own ahead of time, you could make the process much more efficient and reduce expenses.
Most couples in Florida are required to meet with a mediator before setting a court date for litigation. Even if mediation isn’t a good fit for your situation, you may want to explore other litigation alternatives like collaborative divorce or arbitration. These can be faster, cheaper and less contentious than litigation.
Please check back as we continue this discussion in our next post.