The divorce rate for those aged 50 or older has approximately doubled since the 1990s. This means more Arizona residents than ever before are facing the financial hardships that come with a so-called gray divorce. There are many ways in which these sorts of divorces are more costly and more complicated than those earlier in life.
The consequences of a gray divorce are often more dire than a divorce of younger couples. It can be more difficult to recover from a gray divorce because assets and income potential are more fixed, and future employment opportunities may be limited. The money and other assets a person retains may determine his or her entire financial future.
Many older couples have plenty of assets to split, and it may seem like their joint net worth is more than enough to sustain both their futures, even after being separated. However, complications can quickly arise that drain those assets of much of their value. This is especially true of retirement accounts and investments if they are not handled properly. If these sorts of assets are liquidated so they can be split in cash, they are likely to face heavy taxes and penalties. Real property also comes with the risk of unexpected losses in value and future expenses that can be difficult for a single person to afford.
It is important to avoid as many of these and other financial pitfalls as possible. A family law attorney may be able to help by taking the lead on negotiating a property settlement agreement that takes into account the client's post-divorce financial needs.