Divorce after a lengthy marriage is often financially complex. More than a third of divorces now involve people who are at least 55 years old.
If you’re a divorcing woman in that age group, you’re probably already aware that, statistically, older women take a bigger financial hit than men do when their marriages end.
Why older women often come out of divorce financially worse off
A primary reason for this is that many of them put their careers on the back burner while they were raising children. They may have been in and out of the workplace over the years or taken positions that allowed them to work and care for their children rather than opt for an 80-hour-a-week position that could have earned them far more money but made them an absentee parent.
If you’re one of these women, you’re likely not going to be able to jump right into a job that will earn you anywhere near what your soon-to-be-ex is making. No matter how well-educated you are and what positions you held 30 years ago, you may not have the skills and experience companies are seeking in 2022. Despite laws that prohibit age discrimination against anyone over 40 (yes, 40), it is a very real thing.
Get the spousal support you need
So how do you ensure that you’re not one of those women who finds themselves financially devastated by divorce? Smart negotiating can make all the difference.
If your income and potential earning ability are lower than that of your spouse, it’s crucial to seek spousal support, or alimony, for as long as you need it. Georgia law allows judges to consider the length of the marriage when calculating alimony as well as the standard of living the person seeking alimony had during the marriage.
Make smart property division decisions
Your property division agreement will be key as well. Remember that this includes not just physical property like homes and cars, but assets like investments, retirement accounts and perks and bonuses received by the higher-earning spouse.
In addition to solid legal guidance, it’s wise to have financial and tax advisors who can help you determine what assets will benefit you the most in the long run so that you can better decide what’s worth fighting for. With experienced professionals in your corner, you can come out of a divorce without having to worry about your financial future.