Older Texas couples may struggle financially after divorce more than younger couples. While younger couples who divorce may still feel the repercussions of having to split income to provide for two households, baby boomers may have to divide retirement accounts that they have worked to save for during their entire adulthood. Additionally, caregivers who have provided for their children or household needs by working in the home may have to try to rejoin the workforce after decades out of it.
According to statistics, one out of every four people who are divorced are age 50 or older. This is in comparison to one in ten people over age 50 being divorced about 20 years ago. Due to the financial struggles that older individuals can face, it is important that they take a proactive stance regarding their post-divorce finances. One of the ways to accomplish this is to run a credit report for both spouses and to take stock of the values in their bank and retirement accounts.
While both spouses may contest who should keep the family home, this expensive asset may not be suitable for some spouses. The cost to maintain the property may be prohibitive for one of the spouses to own it. The spouse who does not keep ownership of the house should ensure that he or she takes his or her name off of the house deed. The individual whose name is left on the mortgage will be responsible if any payments are late.
Individuals going through a divorce may consult with independent legal counsel. A lawyer may be able to include a provision in the divorce decree that requires one of the spouses to refinance the mortgage in his or her own name to protect the financial interests of the other spouse.
Source: Fox Business, “Divorcing Baby Boomers: How to Get a Financial Grip”, Donna Fuscaldo, April 30, 2014