“Gray divorce” refers to people over 50 filing for divorce. According to studies, the divorce rate among Americans over 50 has doubled since 1990. With that in mind, here are some tips for New Jersey residents dealing with gray divorce.
Fighting for the house
Many people view keeping their home following a divorce as a victory, but that’s not necessarily the case. Most gray divorcees no longer have children living in the home, which means they may have a home larger than they need. Older homes often turn into money pits when they need more frequent repairs.
Failing to inventory assets
It’s not uncommon for one partner to have a better grasp on finances than the other. If you do not know how much money you have in investment accounts, the value of other assets, and the balance of your savings accounts, you may miss out on receiving what’s yours in a divorce. This added knowledge becomes even more important in a high-asset divorce.
Know what you owe
Currently, only nine states have “community property” laws that leave both spouses responsible for 50% of any debt incurred during a marriage. However, the other 41 states may hold both partners responsible for credit cards bearing both partners’ names. Request a full credit report for both you and your spouse so you won’t face any surprises about who owes what.
Providing too much help
It’s hard to tell your adult children they need to be financially independent, but you may have no choice as a single person over 50. As an older individual, your primary goal is to ensure you live comfortably in retirement.
Divorce is certainly never an easy proposition but divorcing over 50 presents a unique set of challenges. Knowing how to avoid certain pitfalls helps you successfully move into the next phase of your life.