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Divorce over 50 requires attention to financial matters

The end of a marriage can be challenging no matter what one's stage of life is. For people in Minnesota and across the United States, there has been an ongoing upward trend in divorces among people over age 50, a number that has more than doubled since 1993. While the financial aspects of a divorce can be complex and challenging at any age, long-term married couples with retirement plans, real estate and other properties can find them particularly difficult to disentangle.

Many people headed toward divorce over age 50 have accumulated substantial assets over the course of their married life, which means that their divorce requires significant attention to detail during property division. It is important for a divorcing spouse to enter the negotiation and settlement process prepared with knowledge about the couple's financial situation. Making a complete inventory of jointly held and individual assets can help a divorcing spouse address property division from a clear perspective on the assets at stake.

For people seeking divorce late in life, it's also recommended to keep Social Security in mind. If a couple was married for 10 years or more, a former spouse has a right to claim benefits based on their ex-spouse. This is the case even if their former spouse is now remarried and it does not affect their ex-spouse's own benefits. Insurance and other accounts can also be necessary to update after a divorce; even after relevant accounts have been split, removing one's former spouse as a beneficiary on death can help avoid future pain over lost assets for heirs.

Divorce later in life carries its own unique challenges and questions, and a family law attorney may provide counsel and representation to address these issues. A lawyer might help clients obtain a comprehensive understanding of the financial issues at stake in the divorce and work to achieve a fair settlement.

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