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Gray divorces and your needs as an older woman

A gray divorce, which is the nickname for one that takes place over the age of 50, can be particularly traumatic for those involved. They also make a serious financial impact on the people in the relationship; generally, it's women who suffer to greater extents.

Why? Women who left the workforce or who were in the workforce but earned less than men are in a precarious position; they actually need more money, because women tend to live longer than men, but they have had fewer chances to earn it or may not be as financially stable as their husbands. That can lead to a number of problems when divorce arises; a woman may now need to focus on getting her fair share of compensation from the marriage when the man may not feel she contributed financially as much as he did. He may offer to settle quickly to dissuade this, but think carefully.

While a divorce can be traumatic, not thinking through the long-term ramifications of settling quickly can hurt you. Divorce can't be all about your emotions; you have to look at it as a business arrangement, so you can get what you need out of your marriage.

If you're in a high net-worth marriage, consider hiring a forensic accountant to make sure all assets are discovered before you work on negotiations. Copy your financial statements and make sure to record your home by touring it with a video app on a smart phone or other recording technology. This helps you discover which items were taken if they disappear out of the home before your divorce is complete. Your attorney will know which kinds of assets to look out for.

Source: U.S. News Investing, "Gray Divorce: What Women Who Divorce Later in Life Need to Know," Debbie Carlson, July 21, 2016

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