10 Mistakes to Avoid When Divorcing Over 50

By on January 25, 2021

Divorce rates have been increasing in recent years and this applies to the over 50s age group too. Experts are also anticipating higher levels of divorce over the next few years, as the pressures of the health pandemic take their toll on marriages. Divorcing after 50 can be more daunting than in earlier age groups, especially when people have been married for a long period of time. However, it is also a time where people might start to reflect on their own happiness more, if children have grown up, or if there is less focus on establishing their career, for example.

For anyone who is in this position and considering starting divorce procedures, here are ten common mistakes to avoid:

Not having a clear idea of finances

Usually, the most complicated aspect of a divorce is working out the separation of finances and assets. There can be financial details that one person is not aware of, both in terms of savings and debts, so it is important to ensure you are aware of the full financial picture. Additionally, if your partner took the role of looking after finances then you may need to do some work to find out details such as outstanding mortgage loans or any other loans such as cars or credit cards.

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Not opting for mediation

Even the most amicable divorce still may have details that the two parties disagree on. Whether that is arrangements concerning children, who continue living in the property, or details regarding pensions, mediation will help to work through the problems to find a solution.

Keeping the property

A lot of divorcees make the mistake of wanting to keep the family home and continue living in it, either by themselves or with their children, without understanding the financial consequences. In some cases, it is better to sell the property and buy a new one that suits the new financial situation.

Not considering tax implications

Another area that requires consideration is the impact of taxes, as any divorce settlement may be subject to tax. It is a good idea to get some advice from an accountant prior to starting divorce proceedings so that you understand how much tax you could end up paying.

Underestimating expenses

As well as not having a clear picture about the existing finances, underestimating how much you spend each month and what your post-divorce cash flow will look like, is another big mistake that frequently occurs. Once bills are being paid by one person instead of two, the outgoings could be less manageable.

Letting emotional attachment overrule sense

Some people struggle to think rationally when there is an emotional attachment involved. For example, wanting to keep hold of a home or other asset that they are emotionally attached to, can prevent them from making better financial decisions.

Not drawing a list of assets  

The more time your divorce solicitor spends on your divorce, the more you will get charged. Therefore, it is important to have a list of all assets and that other preparation is completed before meeting with your solicitor to save time.

Concentrating on now and not the future

Some people are in such a hurry to get the divorce completed that they do not spend time considering how the divorce settlement affects their future. Retirement plans, health insurance, medical costs, and the overall longer-term financial impact should be factored into any settlement agreement.

Making decisions while feeling upset

Going through a divorce can be a very emotional and stressful time but having a clear head when working through the divorce settlement is important to make sure you make the right decisions. Whatever has happened to get to the stage of divorce, you need to try and not let your feelings stand in the way of getting the best financial outcome. Going through the courts and dragging the divorce out could end up costing both you and your ex more money as well as the added stress of the process.

Choosing the wrong solicitors

Another common mistake for people aged over 50 who are starting divorce proceedings is choosing a solicitor that is not the best option for their situation. If your priority is to work out the best arrangements for your children, then choosing a solicitor that specializes in family law is important. 

Also, opting for the cheapest divorce option, such as online divorces, can end up causing a lot more problems and often can end up costing more than it would have done if you had gone straight to a good solicitor to use their expertise.

If you are about to start a divorce petition then make sure that you consider all of these avoidable mistakes and most importantly, choose a reputable solicitor and do not make any hasty decisions that you could regret in the future.

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10 Mistakes to Avoid When Divorcing Over 50