Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Tips to handle a gray divorce in Utah

According to the National Center for Family & Marriage Research, divorce is becoming more common among adults over the age of 50. These divorces that occur later in life are often referred to as "gray divorces." From 1990 to 2014, the number of gray divorces doubled for those over 50 and tripled for those over 65. Nearly all divorces raise some sort of complication, but gray divorces bring their own set of challenges. We hope those considering a gray divorce follow these tips to get them through their divorce successfully.

One of the common challenges for those going through a gray divorce is remaining financially stable throughout the process. Experts suggest evaluating one's post-divorce savings and doing whatever possible to save money. One's assets may be reduced by half after the divorce, so divorcing individuals will need to make sure they have enough money to maintain their standard of living. If not, they may have to sell their marital house. Sometimes, spouses that have not worked outside of the home for 30 years may not be able to afford to stay in the home post-divorce.

A divorcing individual's next step will be to make sure that their beneficiaries are up to date on their retirement accounts and other documents. Updating one's will is not enough. He or she should also become familiar with his or her finances and learn about his or her multiple accounts, especially if the former spouse was the one handling the family finances during the marriage.

Divorce is not easy, especially when you are over the age of 50 and not earning enough to support yourself. Being prepared and fiscally responsible can help you move on to the next phase of your life as a single person. When it comes time to proceed with a divorce, it may be wise for these Utah residents to seek legal assistance, as a qualified family law attorney may be able to help them protect their legal rights and their financial future.

Source: CNBC, "Surviving divorce after 50," Katie Young, March 2, 2017

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