Divorce for individuals over 50 is on the rise and one of the primary concerns for these individuals is their finances. Finances are frequently a point of contention in any divorce, but they can become especially complicated and complex– later in life.
Spouses should make sure they keep a few particular issues in mind as they approach a divorce.
1. Older spouses likely have more assets they must divide
The longer spouses are married, the more time they have to accumulate marital assets, as well as make significant financial investments. For example, older couples are more likely to purchase second homes than younger couples, simply because they often have the time and means to do so. The same goes for many other assets.
When couples have more assets, that often means:
- It is more challenging for spouses to determine which assets are marital property, separate property or even divisible property under North Carolina law
- Each spouse’s financial circumstances after the final distribution of property can feel significantly different
Though the goal is to maintain each spouse’s standard of living as much as possible after separation and divorce, there is no doubt that splitting assets and going from two incomes down to one can make a difference in one’s life.
2. Older spouses also have lower earning potential
Couples over 50 also may have less earning potential. After all, individuals around this age are often:
- Planning for retirement or have retired already
- Potentially working part-time jobs instead of full-time jobs
- Preparing to depend on benefits and savings they accumulated throughout their career
And yet, one’s income, retirement and even workplace benefits are subject to division in divorce. Dividing income and assets, on top of a lower-earning potential can put individuals in a tough financial situation.
Older individuals considering divorce must keep these two issues in mind as they move forward to preserve their future plans.