Three things to consider when preparing for a grey divorce

This article looks at three considerations to keep in mind when going through a divorce later in life.

For those aged 50 and over, divorce is on a rapid upward trend. As MarketWatch reports, between 1990 and 2015, the divorce rate for older Americans went up by an astonishing 109 percent at a time when it declined for all other Americans. Thanks to longer life expectancies, greater financial independence for more women, and changing societal attitudes, there is far less stigma attached to getting divorced after 50 today than there was in the past. However, grey divorce still presents very serious challenges. Below is a look at three things to keep in mind when preparing for or going through a grey divorce.

Financial education

During a long-term marriage, it is very common for one spouse to be responsible for the couple's finances. While that arrangement may work for the course of the marriage, during a divorce it can leave the other spouse without the basic skills he or she needs to budget properly. Divorce for such people can present a bit of a crash course in personal finances. Post-divorce life will also usually mean a different set of financial circumstances. Those who are not financially literate should invest in educational materials to become so quickly or consult with a financial advisor.

Deciding what to do with the home

As CNBC points out, questions about who gets the home are important in any divorce, but especially so during a grey divorce. That's because grey divorcees may have lived in their marital home for decades. As a result, deciding who gets the home is not just a financial question but an emotional one as well. However, it is still important to be realistic about the home. While the property may have served a couple (and possibly a larger family) quite well, the costs of maintenance, property taxes, and upkeep may be too much for somebody living either on a single income or even just a pension.

Taking care of beneficiaries

Those who are going through a grey divorce often also have estate planning concerns as well. A divorce is a good opportunity to update any beneficiaries, especially since most people will want to remove an ex-spouse as their beneficiary. Beneficiaries should be changed not just on the will, but on other documents and accounts as well, such as life insurance policies and pensions.

Help with divorce

Divorce is difficult regardless of the ages of those going through it. However, one way to make the process go more smoothly and to avoid any unwanted surprises is to consult with an experienced family law attorney early on . An attorney can help clients understand what their legal options are and how to craft a settlement that will serve them well both today and in the future.