The couples today, over the age of 50, believe “growing old together” to be a vague idea. As the overall divorce rate is considerably decreasing in the United States of America, the divorce rate among couples over the age of 50 is rapidly increasing. According to the professor of sociology at Bowling Green State University, who is also the co-author of “The Gray Divorce Revolution,” Dr. Susan Brown, “If late-life divorce were a disease, it would be epidemic.”
The rate of divorce after 50 is considerably high. One of the reasons behind it is that when kids move out, the glue that is holding a marriage together dissolves. Misunderstandings find their way into a relationship, and there is no other way for survival except divorce and separation!
Surviving Divorce after 50 – Avoiding Common Mistakes
Divorcing the spouse after twenty or more years is much more stressful as things get complicated when it is time to split. The emotions and even the financials become difficult to handle. For people thinking about how to survive divorce after 50, here are the most common mistakes that both the man and the women need to avoid at any cost!
Letting the Emotions get in the way of Judgement
Divorce is an emotional phase of life. Splitting up with the man or the woman one thought of spending the whole life with is hurtful. Things get tough when a couple is getting divorced after spending more than twenty years together.
When getting divorced after the age of 50, it is obvious that the heart tries to dominate the mind. An individual is on the verge of breaking, and it is the moment when the emotions begin to cloud the judgment. It is the biggest mistake an individual can make while getting a divorce. No one wins in a divorce, so let it be. Make decisions with a clear head and from a rational place as emotional decisions will add to the difficulties.
Not Seeing the Big Picture
Nobody plans for divorce beforehand, and that is why many individuals miss out the big picture. When divorce is inevitable, the best approach is to stop panicking, let the process go smoothly and plan to start over after the marriage is over. Divorced individuals must logically ask themselves about their game plan and where do they see themselves after a year. Not planning the big picture will mess up the life and give birth to chaos.
Allowing Third-Party to Make Decisions
When divorcing after 50, an individual is wise enough to take their decisions themselves. Relying on external entities and failing to make the decisions might put one in a position, coming out of which may be impossible. Completecase.com, a well-known divorce-related site, claims that its clients often ask if they should get a divorce. “They always look for advice from us. But who are we to give such pieces of advice? Asking for advice is OK and seeking help from professionals to understand the situation is not wrong, but the ultimate decision must be their own.”
Rushing into New Relationships
Coping with divorce, especially at the age of over 50, is tough. The whole life, an individual, has lived with their spouse and suddenly their alone, on their own. In such cases, rushing into a romantic relationship is a common coping mechanism. It might seem right, but it is not one needs. It is the time for an individual to rediscover themselves, reclaim their independence, and comes as an opportunity to recover from the unstable married life. Investing oneself emotionally with a newer partner is not the perfect way to recover from a divorce.
Not Creating an Assets’ Inventory
Often in married couples, there is one of the two who is responsible for handling the financials. During a divorce, it becomes a problem, and to address this problem creating an assets’ inventory is a necessity. The inventory helps in a fair division of assets.
Demanding for the House
Demanding for the house when splitting assets is not at all a wise decision. It is a huge mistake for individuals who are not financially stable to pay for the upkeep, the property taxes, and getting the repairs done. Before one decides to hold onto the house, they need to analyze their financial state and see whether they are stable enough to bear the expenses of the house on their own.
Not knowing the Owed Amount
According to Investopedia, in nine states of the USA; Arizona, California, Nevada, Wisconsin, Idaho, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Texas, the debt is addressed as the community property. Which means, after the divorce, the debt owed will be divided into half.
Supporting Adult Children
Every parent wants to support their kids, but if the kids are adults, and the parents are going through a divorce, it might not be a wise choice to support them. It is the time when divorced parents should think about their retirement plan and not about supporting their kids who are capable of supporting their selves!
Hiding Assets from Spouse
During a divorce, the entire assets of the couple are divided. Many individuals believe that hiding their assets will make them contribute a lower amount as compared to their spouse. It is shad, and it is an illegal move. If the authorities find out about this move, the spouse will get a greater portion of the assets, and the individual responsible for the illegal act will have to pay an additional legal fee.
Miscalculation of Expenses
In cases of divorce, there is a 25% decrease in a man house income and 40% decrease in a woman’s house income. It is a clear sign that after divorce, the divorced individuals will have to bear added expenses. A smart move is to reduce the expenses and accurately calculate them to create a budget.
Considering Divorce Advisors Friends
The most common mistake individuals make is to consider divorce advisors as friends. The settlement pays for all the expenses of the divorce advisor. It is important to always keep track of how much the advisors are spending on the cause. The lawyer is not a friend and is someone who charges per hour for their services!
Undervaluing Social Security
Social security is much more important than people usually think. It is often undervalued. In a case a marriage lasts for more than ten years, one spouse is entitled to the benefits of others as long as he or she remains unmarried. Usually, the one with a lower income has a claim on the social security of the one with a higher income as its worth more.
Ignoring Taxes on Retirement Funds
The real value of 401(k) and other pre-tax retirement accounts are only about 65% of what it says on the paper. The money in these accounts is a subject to taxation upon withdrawal. It is best to negotiate for a larger portion of savings to make the trade equitable.
The divorce itself is stressful and comes as a harsh blow, especially when getting a divorce after 50. Making these mistakes adds to the already existing problems and can ruin the days of life that one plans to spend with complete peace of mind and relaxation! Divorced at 50? Now what? Starting over after divorce at 50 may seem foolish, but it is what one needs to do. The first step is to take professional help. No matter how much one refuses, therapy is what lays the groundwork to start over. Exercising, traveling, and being free are the ways an individual can cope with a divorce after 50 and stay happy till the very end!