Over a third of people getting divorced these days are over 55. If you’re a woman whose divorcing, you’ve probably read some disturbing statistics about how older women fare financially after a “gray divorce.” It’s typically far worse than it is for men.
One reason for this is that women who have been out of the workplace off and on having and raising children don’t have as much time as their younger counterparts to get the education or experience they need to get a job that will support them in anything close to the lifestyle they’re used to – even if that lifestyle wasn’t necessarily lavish. Further, despite laws against age discrimination, older women still face barriers in the workplace.
Negotiating with your spouse can be advantageous
If spouses divide assets 50-50, as California community property laws dictate, that can still leave women with considerably less than they had and little or no income to bring in more. If you and your spouse can negotiate your own terms for the divorce via mediation or at least not have to leave everything to a judge to decide, you may improve your chances of reaching a settlement that will not leave you worrying about your financial future. It can also help you both remain amicable.
Negotiating a good spousal support agreement can help considerably. It’s important to remember, however, that if your soon-to-be-ex retires, they will likely be granted a modification.
Plan for the future – with professional guidance
Even if you’ve always been healthy and active, we never know what the future’s going to bring as we get older. That’s why it’s essential to make sure you’re prepared for any unexpected health crises or other issues that could affect your ability to earn a living or care for yourself independently.
It’s wise to seek financial guidance in addition to having sound legal guidance before you determine what you want out of the divorce – even if it means the divorce doesn’t go as quickly as hoped. This can help you as you make important decisions that will affect how you’re able to live the rest of your life.