If you are among the rising number of people going through a divorce later in life, it is important to recognize that there are important considerations involved in doing so. According to U.S. News & World Report, the number of couples going through a divorce after age 50 doubled between 1990 and 2010, and often, these couples have issues they need to work through that differ from those faced by couples who divorce at earlier ages.
If you are ending your marriage after age 50, know that:
You will likely pay or receive alimony
Lifelong alimony, and alimony in general, is more common among couples who divorce later in life. If you divorce in your younger years, you may only have to give or receive alimony for a certain amount of time, or until the courts believe that you or your spouse has had enough time to rebound financially from the split. When you divorce at an older age, however, a court may consider the fact that you or your ex may not be able to return to the workforce. This may be particularly likely if one spouse has not worked for some time in order to provide for the family, allow the other spouse to continue his or her education and so on.
Your retirement accounts will likely diminish
When you divorce later in life, you can also expect that the money you have in your retirement accounts will reduce by about half. This typically holds true even if one spouse is "to blame" for the split, whether because of infidelity or what have you. In some cases, a spouse with pension may try to offer more of that amount in an attempt to avoid or lower alimony payments. However, if you are the person on the receiving end, you may want to think twice before immediately accepting this type of proposal for tax reasons.
These are just a few important considerations involved in divorcing after age 50. Understanding what you are getting into and making informed decisions early on may help you save money and avoid unnecessary stress down the road.