A divorce trend has doubled from 1990 to 2010 among those who are over the age of 50 years old, and this is what is known as a "gray divorce." Divorce can already be problematic, but it may be even more so among spouses who are over 50. There are a few strategies that Colorado spouses can use to protect their finances.
One strategy is for spouses to know where their individual and shared debts stand. This can be done by pulling a credit report so that there are no surprises, and it's recommended that this is done before filing for divorce. Remember, spouses can still be liable for their spouse's debt if they reside in an area with community property laws. The next strategy is to review assets and retirement benefits. It's recommended that spouses transfer their assets to either a trust or into a life estate.
Also, spouses will need to update their beneficiaries on bank accounts, life insurance and other financial accounts. One last strategy is for spouses to keep calm. The divorce process can be simplified and quicker if spouses are willing to divide assets equitably instead of fighting.
Some Colorado couples are able to negotiate a divorce settlement on their own. If that is not possible, then spouses may need to bring in a third party such as a financial adviser or a mediator. A financial adviser is able to review all assets and provide a value to them during asset division. Doing so can help to avoid the hassle of a long litigation process.
Source: USA Today, "Protect finances in later-in-life divorce", Anna Helhoski, Nov. 23, 2014