4 things to know when divorcing in senior years

For many couples, “Till death do us part” is no longer uttered with the same zest that it was in the past. Divorce has become an integrated part of society, an occurrence so common that it no longer deserves the hushed tones of years past. However, if you’re one of the growing number of people age 50 or older who decide to call it quits on matrimony, you’ll likely face a whole slew of challenges unique to your demographic. Here are four issues you need to keep in mind if divorce becomes part of your retirement plan.

Money often becomes a struggle

Older couples find it more challenging to compensate for the money lost during a divorce. Most likely, retirement funds and other assets will be split evenly during the proceedings. Alimony is harder to come by, so spouses who stayed home with the children aren’t able to count on that extra money as they did in generations past. Some people offer more of their pension to thwart having to pay alimony as well. For those couples married more than ten years, however, there is good news: You may qualify for spousal Social Security benefits.

Get a prenuptial agreement if ready to say, “I do” again

Remarriages are more likely to end in divorce than first marriages, thereby underscoring the importance of a prenuptial agreement. The first divorce took your retirement savings and split them in half; the second (or later) divorce will do the same, leaving you with even less money.

Consider health care

After a divorce, you aren’t able to stay on your ex’s insurance plan. You also aren’t able to utilize Medicare until the age of 65. Without the support system you once counted on, it’s more important to obtain long-term care insurance in case you need assistance with living.

Even adult children are a consideration

Even if you aren’t contending with parenting plans and custody arrangements, there are considerations to be made with regards to older children. Unless a child has a disability or is in school, support for adult children isn’t often written into divorce decrees. Nonetheless, your children may have come to expect a certain level of financial support that you’ll have to reconsider. There are also emotional reactions. Adult children may not want parents to divorce or to date again.

Divorce is rarely easy and it can be complicated by all sorts of issues. While separating in your “golden years” can be challenging, you fortunately have years of wisdom behind you to navigate the obstacles.