Gray Divorce Mistakes to Avoid
Mistakes to Avoid When Divorcing Over 50
Research has shown that gray divorces—divorces involving couples who are over 50—are on the rise; 1 in 4 people who get divorced are over 50, and half of the gray divorces occur after two decades of marriage.
If you are facing a gray divorce, here are a few things to keep in mind during your gray divorce that can help you avoid making common divorce mistakes.
- Wait to file until you are emotionally and mentally prepared. Some couples file for divorce as soon as their last child leaves for college or without properly preparing for the upcoming process. Getting divorced can change your life dramatically, so you should make sure you understand how your life will change and how you might feel (i.e. the emotional stages of divorce, loss of sense of normalcy, etc.). You should also understand your legal options as well as the unique concerns of high assets, high net worth, and gray divorces.
- Have an accurate idea of your shared and separate assets and debts. Failing to create an inventory of your property and debt is a huge mistake. If your partner controls the finances, they may have a better understanding of your investments, the value of your assets, and more. You should take time to gather this information so that you and your attorney have a clear picture of what assets are subject to division. This inventory can also help you protect your assets from your spouse (if they were to attempt to hide them).
- Plan for the future. You should look at real estate; create a budget with your sole income; consider what your post-divorce life will look like. Without thinking about the future, you may make rushed judgments concerning alimony or property division; you may also be overwhelmed once you are separated and/or divorced.
- Don’t underestimate your expenses. As we mentioned, creating a budget is important for planning for life post-divorce. However, in gray divorces, people often underestimate their expenses and do not research the costs of daily and monthly bills.
- Consider your dependents. While your children are likely adults and custody is not an issue, you should think about any children that you may support. In some cases, it is a mistake to keep sending children money as you may no longer be able to afford it or the other party may say used marital funds recklessly. If you have children, you should also consider how their inheritance (as well as your estate planning documents) can be impacted.
- Do not ignore tax implications. Most of the decisions you make during your divorce can have financial implications. You should be sure you understand who gets the house or other assets, alimony, and other decisions that can affect your taxes.
- Consider your health insurance. Another huge mistake to avoid is not figuring out your health insurance. If you are listed on your spouse’s policy, it can be hard to find affordable options if you are not yet eligible for Medicare. If your spouse is on your plan, you should also consult with an attorney before removing them from the plan, because you likely must petition the court to remove them if your divorce is not final yet.
- Hiding assets is a crime. It is definitely a mistake to attempt to conceal assets from your spouse and the court. You can face serious consequences if your actions are discovered.
- Consider letting go of the family home. Another mistake is trying to keep the family home. While the home likely holds many special and important memories for you and your family, maintaining the home and handling the related expenses can be a lot for a single-income home.
- Ensure you have a reliable support system. You need to have people in your corner who can support you and help you process your emotions, plan financially, and handle the case legalities. Contact friends, family, a local support group, and experts, such as forensic accountants and an attorney who can support you in those individual areas.
Considering Gray Divorce? Contact Our Firm Today!
At Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office, our legal team is here to help our clients protect their interests and achieve a favorable divorce settlement. Whether you are filing contested or uncontested or need help with mediation or litigation, our divorce attorney is equipped to help you navigate your gray divorce.
To schedule a case consultation, call (727) 312-1112 or reach out online today.