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Divorce at an older age can upset your finances

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2022 | Divorce

There are many people in New York who have been married 40 to 50 years or more. Some spouses have felt themselves drifting apart from one another for a long time. However, many have stayed married for the sake of their children, who were still young at the time. If you can relate to such experiences, then you also might be among those who have decided to file for divorce at age 55 or older.  

Divorce in this age group has become so common that rates have tripled in the past few decades. ‘‘Gray divorce‘‘ is term that was coined to refer to those who have decided to go their separate ways later in life as opposed to married couples who call it quits in their twenties or thirties. If you file for divorce at age 55 or older, you might encounter some significant financial challenges. 

Make sure that you understand property division guidelines 

Every state has its own guidelines regarding division of assets in a divorce. New York uses equitable property rules, which means that you and your ex will split the value of your marital assets in a way that is fair to both of you. The court will consider your levels of income, your financial needs, your mental and physical health conditions, and more before deciding who gets what. 

Don’t forget to ask about taxes and retirement and long-term care 

If you are 70 or older, the not-too-distant future might include a few health concerns, ones that your spouse would typically help you to deal with if you were still married. As a single person, however, if your health begins to fail, you may need to reach out for additional support. You might even determine a need to transition to assisted living or full-time nursing care, both of which are expensive. 

This is an important topic to address as you prepare for divorce at a later stage in life. It is also important to understand any tax implications your divorce might have on your finances as well as how or if retirement benefits will be shared.  

Moving on in life after a gray divorce 

After being together for so many years, you may have never imagined that you’d one day be filing for a divorce in New York court. While it’s bound to disrupt your life, it doesn’t have to ruin it as long as you can make informed decisions and know how to protect your financial interests in court.