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Family law: Divorce and finances at retirement age

Divorce can be particularly painful when it comes after a couple had been married for many years. There are many things to consider in such circumstances like spousal support and the division of assets, which fall under family law in British Columbia, but there are also many other issues a couple needs to deal with, particularly how a divorce will affect their plans for retirement. Grey divorce -- or the divorce of those aged 50 or older -- is on the rise and for seniors it can be particularly painful, especially financially.

Most married couples pool their resources and moving from a 100% equity household, to a 50% one can be financially debilitating for some. Many things will change such as what a person might be able to afford in terms of living accommodations. A couple will likely have to tap into any savings they've accumulated, which could mean postponing retirement for several years. 

By the time people reach the age of 60 or beyond, they don't have a lot of time to recoup their savings and making up the shortfall in income may be impossible. So, when couples decide to divorce later in life, it is usually with careful thought and with the notion that living separate lives will be better for each emotionally, if not financially. If finances are an issue, it is best to obtain independent financial advice.

A lawyer experienced in British Columbia family law may be able to provide advice to a client considering divorce later in life. A lawyer may also be able to help such a client if he or she is thinking about remarrying. In such cases a prenuptial contract might be worth pondering. 

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