Going through a divorce at any age can be difficult, but divorce for people who are older can be more complex. Older people can face financial, health and social challenges that can be difficult to navigate.
Finances and health
Many older people have worked for years to build a nest egg. That’s one reason why it can be difficult to divide these assets in a divorce. Their assets may include bank accounts, retirement accounts, investments and property.
Generally, when the court divides assets, it will give each spouse an equitable share. Equitable does not always mean equal, however. Instead, it means that each spouse receives what is fair based on several factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s financial situation and each spouse’s contributions to the household.
If a spouse did not contribute to the household by working and instead, they cared for children or were a homemaker, for example, they are still entitled to a share of the assets.
The marital home is also a large asset that must be divided. The spouses can decide if one wants to stay in the home or if they want to sell the home and divide the proceeds.
Also, the spouses will need to consider who will provide health insurance, if applicable, and whether they will be eligible to claim their spouse’s Social Security benefits.
In addition to financial and health impacts, divorce can also cause social isolation for older people. It can be helpful to join community activities or social clubs to help them adjust to their new circumstances and find new companions.
If an older person needs help with the divorce process, there is assistance available.