Financial planning for a “gray divorce”

Last updated on July 23, 2021

Divorce is an increasingly popular option for many people over 50 in Georgia and around the country. While divorce rates have declined for Americans overall and for younger families, older couples are much more likely to end their marriages than they were in decades past, leading to the phenomenon taking on the name “gray divorce.” The end of a marriage always comes with financial repercussions as well as personal and emotional changes. This can be particularly true for older couples, as younger people have more time to rebuild their financial lives and reshape their future plans. By planning and setting priorities, people can help to protect their financial future for retirement and beyond.

Preparing for a “gray divorce”

As with any divorce, it is important to get a clear financial picture of your marriage. Your family law attorney will need this information in order to pursue a fair settlement and understand the overall situation. You will need a complete list of assets and debts as well as your income, investments, expenses and retirement accounts. Banking and brokerage statements, tax returns, credit card statements and other documents can be used to gather this information.

Financial changes accompanying divorce

You and your spouse will work out a property division agreement or receive an order from the court dividing those assets and liabilities between the two of you and mandating any relevant spousal support. The changes that come with divorce will also require many people to reassess their financial choices and make a new budget based on a single life. After all, it is more expensive to finance two single lives than one marital household. Consider housing expenses and whether you will need to downsize, and create a financial plan that provides the funds to cover your expenses while saving for the future.

Many people are living long, happy and healthy lives well into their elder years, and a “gray divorce” may be the right choice for many people looking for a new, single future. You may find it helpful to work with your family law attorney as well as an accountant to fully understand the financial picture and prepare a new budget for the future.

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