Gray divorce is an increasingly common phenomenon. According to the United States Census Bureau, the highest divorce rate occurs in adults aged 55 to 64.
Several factors might influence this trend, such as increased median age of first marriage, increased lifespans and cultural shifts. Regardless of the reason for your divorce, you need to have a plan for keeping your finances in good shape. Gray divorcees tend to have more wealth, which means there is more to lose in a separation. Here are a few ways you can protect yourself through the divorce process:
Consider selling the home
Many couples have an emotional attachment to their home. However, your new financial situation might not allow you to keep the house after a divorce. Besides the mortgage payments, maintenance costs and unexpected expenses may not be feasible when you are newly single. Selling the house gives you access to liquid capital and could allow you to purchase a new home for the next chapter in your life.
Not to mention, there are likely years of memories in your previous home. Selling your house could give you a fresh start with some needed capital.
Make a budget that plans for the unexpected
Perhaps you never needed a budget before you got a divorce. A lot of uncertainty comes with ending a marriage, but your financial situation does not have to add to the anxiety. Take a deep dive into your expenses and liabilities before, during and after the divorce. Knowing what to expect goes a long way toward emerging financially healthy.
Take stock of your assets and consider what you can realistically keep. Do not let emotional attachments get in the way of what makes financial sense. Gray divorce might catch you by surprise, but a reasonable budget will get you through it.