For divorcing couples with growing families, child custody is often the most contentious issue of divorce. However, for aging, empty-nest couples near retirement, assets and finances are the biggest concern for the future. Coincidentally, a new study shows that men and women who consider divorce later in life are not doing enough to account for their financial needs in retirement.
According to Business Wire, a publication by Berkshire Hathaway, 75 percent of retirement age divorcees lack a viable understanding of personal finances. This statistic comes as the divorce rate for couples over the age of 50 has doubled since 1990. Post-marriage outcomes differ significantly for men and women after divorce too.
Women are more likely to take positive steps after divorce
Although we hear that women are more at risk for financial trouble after divorce, they are also more proactive about money following marriage. After a divorce, women increase contributions to their retirement accounts twice as often as men and improve spending habits four times as often. Women are also 14 times more likely than men to seek financial advice after divorce.
While we often view men of the Baby Boomer generation as the breadwinner of a household, that doesn't excuse them from seeking new financial advice after divorce. Life is different after marriage, and a financial plan should reflect that, especially as retirement nears.
A family law attorney can facilitate discussion
Marriages often fail because a couple's ability to communicate openly and honestly deteriorates, but that is what is necessary to ensure mutual financial success after divorce, according to Business Wire. Divorce will require couples to gather financial documents and discovery of previously unknown information can spell trouble through the proceedings.
Although discussion is necessary, emotions during a divorce can lead to embitterment. With the help of a family law attorney, couples can communicate their wishes under the law. While emotions can fuel a desire to "win" heat of the moment financial battles in divorce, foresight is required for long-term prosperity.
As life expectancy increases, divorcees will have to rely on a long-term plan to ensure financial solvency. While a financial planner sees the world in green, silver and gold, a family law attorney applies a retirement plan in accordance with the black and white language of the law.
For men and women nearing retirement age, a conversation about divorce and finances is better started earlier to ensure success later in life.