It is called "grey divorce," and it is a growing trend across North America that sees people over the age of 50 ending their marriages, sometimes after decades of being with the same spouse. Alberta residents may be familiar with the divorce trend, but they may not be aware that its fallout tends to adversely affect women more than men. Below are some of the things a woman experiencing grey divorce should keep in mind.
In previous generations, it was not uncommon for a woman to become a stay-at-home mother or otherwise leave her chosen profession, sometimes for years or even decades. When faced with the prospect of a late-life divorce, it will become important for her to consider spousal support in order to shore up the potential loss of revenue associated with an inability to re-enter the job force so late in life. It may also be valuable to consider giving up certain assets, such as the family home, as property taxes and other costs would defer to the single owner.
Having an accurate picture of both spouses' finances can also be important. While it is generally required for both parties to bring forward all financial documentation, it is not uncommon for one or both spouses to hide or otherwise remit important data. Seeking records of up to three years for things like taxes is good practice for both spouses but particularly for women who could be unduly disadvantaged.
Divorce at any time of life can be challenging, as some Alberta residents are already aware. However, grey divorce brings with it its own challenges that are unique to the age group it affects. Seeking the support of a qualified professional to navigate these waters can make a positive difference for any woman ending a marriage late in life.
Source: money.usnews.com, "Gray Divorce: What Women Who Divorce Later in Life Need to Know", Debbie Carlson, July 21, 2016