Gray divorce, or a marriage that ends after age 50, is now a common event. In fact, according to Captrust Financial Advisors, greater than 1/3 of all divorces in the United States involve couples of this age, and instances continue to rise.
If you find yourself facing a gray divorce, protecting your financial future is likely a priority, and you may accomplish this in several ways as the proceedings move forward.
1. Review your bottom line
Feeling a variety of emotions regarding your gray divorce may shift from anger to grief and even fear over the future, but you can alleviate worry by reviewing your bottom financial line. If your spouse previously handled most of the money, become involved in banking matters, credit card accounts and any accumulated savings. The more aware you are, the lower the chances your spouse can hide assets from you.
2. Budget for the future
When divorce occurs, plans for the future change for you and your spouse. This means you face a new financial future where you will care for yourself and handle your own finances. Budgeting for the challenges to come can help you project your monthly income needs, which may include a new part-time job or a move to an affordable apartment if you cannot afford to keep the family home by yourself.
3. Review your credit report
You can request a free credit report annually from one of the three main reporting agencies: Equifax, Transunion and Experian. Review the report for any joint credit items and have your spouse list any errors or debts he or she agrees to pay off during or after the divorce. Put any agreements in writing to further protect yourself.
Remaining aware of all previous marital assets can help streamline the divorce and prevent long-running arguments so both you and your spouse can part amicably.