Later-in-life or “gray” divorce is not uncommon these days, but it brings concerns you likely would not have had at a younger age.
A mature woman facing divorce wants to know what will happen in terms of dividing retirement accounts and other assets and how to prepare for the future.
If your spouse was mainly responsible for managing your marital finances, now is the time to learn more about your income, expenses, retirement accounts and investments. For example, you may think there will be a 50-50 split of your 401(k), but that is not necessarily true. Your plan administrator will need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO, to know how to divide the assets.
Considering possible adjustments
Learning about your current financial affairs and how they will change after the divorce will enable you to create a suitable budget for the next phase of your life. You may have to live on less. You may have to downsize unless you want to keep the marital home. Remember that your home is an illiquid asset that will require payment of property taxes plus the cost of upkeep and the occasional repair. Will this cut into your budget?
Looking at a different divorce option
You might assume that you and your spouse will undergo the traditional divorce in court. However, litigation can be lengthy, and it is certainly expensive. Another option is mediation. If the two of you can agree to work together in order to create a mutually satisfactory settlement agreement, mediation may be the best solution. It is less time-consuming and expensive than litigation and a private undertaking, as well. Given your concerns about property division and the post-divorce future, mediation can streamline your divorce and enable you to view the road ahead with greater confidence.