The divorce rate among people over the age of 55 has significantly increased over the last few decades. Whether it’s because divorce is more acceptable now or because more elderly couples are running into unresolved issues during retirement, many factors are contributing to the high divorce rate among seniors. While divorce is never easy, it can be uniquely challenging for seniors. Here are four things to consider if you’re getting a divorce later in life.
The financial consequences of divorce can be devastating for some seniors. Rising living expenses later in life can derail retirement plans or make it impossible for spouses to keep the marital home on a single income. Seniors who divorce will also have less time to pay off debt and recoup potential losses. Additionally, the earning potential for seniors is far less if they have already left the job market to retire.
Social Security Issues
Those over the age of 62 who divorce their spouse after being married for more than 10 years can collect retirement benefits through their exes Social Security record. This can be done without reducing the ex’s benefits. Former spouses might also be entitled to receive Social Security survivor benefits after their ex passes away. You should consult with an experienced divorce lawyer to determine if you are eligible to claim Social Security benefits after your marriage ends.
Many older couples often appoint one spouse to handle insurance matters, such as paying monthly bills or updating policies. After the couple divorces, the spouse that wasn’t in charge of these matters will have to get their own insurance policies. This can be daunting if the person has never encountered these issues because their ex used to take care of it all for them.
Facing the prospect of long-term care and preparing for one’s final wishes are some of the many factors that often need to be considered in a Gray Divorce. Updating your estate plan both during and after the divorce is recommended, as well as planning for the stipulations and costs of long-term medical care, should it be required.
At the Law Office of Joseph Cerino, we are familiar with the unique challenges seniors often encounter in their divorce cases. If you need an experienced attorney to advocate on your behalf, contact us today.