It is described as gray divorce. According to statistics, more and more women aged 50 and over are getting divorced. It’s a phenomenon that can leave them facing serious financial hardship.

Recently, the Los Angeles Times reported on how the divorce rate for woman over 50 has doubled in two decades since the 1990s.

Although divorce in mid-life means liberation for some women, others experience an unpleasant shock. A report by UBS Global Wealth Management called “Own Your Worth” found 56 percent of women left major financial and planning decisions to their spouse pre-divorce.

The study suggested many married women continue to abdicate important financial decisions to their spouses. When they break-up, they can flounder.

The challenges of divorces for over 50s

Divorces for over 50s can pose a challenge

To compile its survey, UBS surveyed over 600 women who were divorced or widowed within the last five years, as well as 1,500 couples. Respondents were required to have at least $250,000 in investable assets.

The study pointed to a marked difference in attitudes toward making major financial decisions between married women and those who were divorced or widowed. It found:

  • As many as 85 percent of married women who were not active in making long-term financial decisions said their spouse knew more about their financial situation than they did.
  • Almost 60 percent of divorcees and widow regretted not taking part in long-term financial planning when they were in a marriage.
  • About 80 percent of women were content with how the financial responsibilities were allocated in their marriage.

The report found some divorcees were impacted by unpleasant financial surprises that occurred during a divorce. About 56 percent of divorcees and widows found new financial problems in the process of splitting up.

However, some women received positive financial news during divorce such as 401(k) retirement saving plans they didn’t know existed.

Notwithstanding the occasional pleasant surprise, women are usually worse off financially after a divorce.

Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found the weekly earnings of married women are about 20 percent higher than those who are divorced, separated or widowed.

It’s important to know ahead of a divorce what your financial situation will be post-divorce. A Newnan attorney can help you plan for the future. Please contact us today at (404) 913-1529.