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Gray divorce may hit women harder than men financially

Many Louisianans picture their golden years as a time to spend with their loved ones, enjoying a comfortable retirement. This is certainly picturesque, but is it realistic for everyone? Perhaps not for those going through a gray divorce, usually defined as a divorce involving individuals over the age of 50. In fact, studies have shown that these types of divorces, which are on the rise, can leave women with financial difficulties that can drastically affect their golden years.

One reason for such financial hardship for women coming out of a gray divorce is that many of these women have taken significant periods of time off to raise families. Their working ex-husbands, on the other hand, may have an extensive work history and the ability to earn a higher income. Though women who have gone through a gray divorce can certainly still enter the workforce, their options, and their salaries, may be more limited.

So what should women aged 50 and older do if they are considering divorce? There are many things they can do. They can assess their insurance options, as acquiring some types of insurance, such as life and disability, can be more difficult for older people. Divorcing women in this situation should also think about adjusting their lifestyle for long-term financial stability, and familiarize themselves with the status of their retirement and Social Security benefits.

Those who are concerned about their financial well-being during a gray divorce may want to speak with an attorney to develop a plan to protect their financial interests. A family law attorney can fight for a fair result in property division and alimony. These areas can be key to securing one's financial future post-divorce.

Source: Forbes, "Gray Divorce: A Financial Double Whammy for Women," Jeff Landers, July 13, 2016

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