In most cases the divorce process is a trying time in someone’s life. This is usually true regardless of the age of the parties divorcing, the assets they have accumulated and whether children are involved. While every divorce is of course different, there are some generalities that can be applied to certain demographics of divorcing couples. For example, while couples with young children may be primarily focused on who will have custody and determining child support, older couples may be more concerned about the division of assets.
There are multiple reasons for this focus including the fact that in most cases young children are not a part of the equation. In addition, if the marriage that is ending is a long one, there could be a lifetime of assets to divide. These assets could include:
- The marital home
- Registered retirement savings plans
- Insurance policies
- Private pensions
- Work options
- Family businesses
For divorcing couples over the age of 50, retirement is inevitably a concern. Accordingly, it is important for each party to articulate the retirement they hope to experience. From there, couples can try to work out how each lifestyle will be funded. Depending on things such as the taxes that could be assessed with RRSPs and how much a family business could be worth in the future, the way in which the assets will be divided will vary. The split may not be down the middle.
In addition to finalizing a settlement agreement there are other things that should be addressed. This life changing decision should also prompt changes to one’s estate plan as well.
Because the consequences of not achieving a fair settlement in a divorce can greatly impact what is supposed to be a wonderful time of life, it is important that individuals over the age of 50 who are seeking to divorce, get the assistance of a divorce lawyer.