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Financial issues to address when divorcing over 50

If you are older than 50 and going through divorce you are not alone. As we discussed in a past post, divorce among the 50 and older demographic is booming. In fact, the divorce rate for this age group doubled between 1990 and 2010.

We also discussed the primary reasons sociologists say the divorce rate is increasing for the baby boomer generation, including higher expectations for marriage, longer life expectancies and the financial independence of women.

In today’s post, we are going to discuss a few of the unique financial issues that people over 50 face when going through divorce.

Perhaps the most pressing issue for baby boomers going through divorce is the division of retirement assets. Because baby boomers are nearing or have already reached retirement age they don’t have much time to make up retirement savings that are lost during the divorce. The means the distribution of retirement assets is a crucial step during the divorce process.

Additionally, health insurance is another very important issue for baby boomers to consider during divorce. While both parties might currently be relying on one spouse’s employer-provided health insurance, this usually isn’t an option after the divorce has been finalized. For that reason, the added expense of health insurance for the spouse who doesn’t have coverage through an employer should be considered during the divorce process.

Finally, Social Security is another important divorce matter for baby boomers to think about. Most people aren’t aware that they may be able to collect Social Security based on the ex-spouse’s earning record even if the ex-spouse remarries. That can result in a significantly greater Social Security retirement benefit.

These are just a few of the important issues that need to be considered during a divorce over 50. Talking to an experienced family law attorney can help you make sure that these issues and others have been properly addressed during your divorce.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Study: Divorce proves tough for couples 50 and over,” Tim Grant, Oct. 24, 2014

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