Gray divorce is on the rise these days for many different reasons. A gray divorce is the name given divorces involving couples over 50.
Longer life expectancy, trouble adapting to life without children at home and increased financial independence are just a few of the reasons for the higher number of gray divorces.
However, if you are going through a gray divorce, you are still likely to have many concerns, especially when it comes to finances. Starting a new career, going back to school or rebuilding your savings may not be practical or realistic options.
Talk to a financial planner
There are some steps you can take to help you stay financially stable after your gray divorce. Consider working with a financial planner.
This might be something you never needed to do before, but now that you are going to be on your own, some professional advice and guidance can be extremely beneficial. Do this early, even before the divorce process begins, if possible.
When making your financial plan, you will need to create a list of all your assets and debts. This is also something that needs to be done as part of your property division. Virginia law uses an equitable distribution method of dividing property.
What equitable distribution means
This means that a court does not necessarily divide marital property equally, but instead aims for a fair division of property.
Even if your marital property is divided equally, this means you will likely be left with approximately 50% less in assets than you had while you were married. Prepare yourself for the idea that your standard of living will be lower, at least for a while.
Your financial plan should take this reality into consideration. Figure out how you can cut unnecessary expenses and live simpler. This could mean moving to a smaller house or owning only one vehicle.
Reviewing and updating your estate plan is another important step in a gray divorce. Remove your spouse as the beneficiary to any accounts you no longer want them on and update your Will, Power of Attorney, and Advanced Medical Directive.
A gray divorce is the right choice for many couples, and proper planning early in the process can make a huge difference.