Divorcing after the age of 50 has become common, and sometimes, people make mistakes during the process that they later regret.
If you divorce after 50, here are some mistakes to avoid.
Thinking the divorce will not affect your children
At 50, the chances are that you have adult children with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Even though you do not have to worry about a custody battle, you should still be alert to ways that your children will feel the effects of the divorce. For example, you will probably no longer want to spend holidays with your ex, and your children may feel as if they are taking sides when they accept an invitation.
You and your ex may want to decide ahead of time how you will address a holiday invitation schedule, such as agreeing to have your family dinner on Christmas Eve, while your ex invites the children over for Christmas.
Forgetting about assets
Some assets are obvious. You are not likely to overlook your vehicles, real estate and retirement accounts when you make your financial inventory. However, couples who have been married for years often have already purchased burial plots, and may have valuable collections and antiques, enough frequent flyer miles for a nice vacation or season tickets to expensive entertainment venues.
Overlooking the health insurance
After years of being eligible for a spouse’s employee health insurance plan, it may not have occurred to you that you will have to find your own plan. You can continue to use your ex-spouse’s coverage for up to 36 months, but it will cost more. Fortunately, California is one of the states that has provided numerous health insurance options that may be affordable for those who do not have plans through their employer.
The tax consequences of keeping the house, paying/receiving alimony and dividing retirement accounts may be steep. You may be able to offset these by coming up with creative solutions during the property division phase of negotiations. For example, selling the house and splitting the profits, choosing a lump sum payment rather than regular alimony, and trading other assets for retirement accounts may set you and your former spouse up for financial success after the divorce.