Financial Cost For Older Couples Divorcing

Posted Thursday, February 3rd, 2011. Filed Under Financial Empowerment

We all know their is a financial cost to both parties when their is a divorce. I have come across an article from the National Post, ” Adult Children of Divorce Face Extra Burdens”.

Not only does adult children face the idea that “everything I thought was real, isn’t” but they also face a series of financial challenges that their friends whose parents are married don’t have to deal with.

A young adult may find their college fund ravaged; they may see their family home fall into the hands of parent’s new girl/boyfriend. They may feel financially responsible for their parents at an early age, and have to care for single aging parents.

These problems are more likely to affect more young and middle-aged adults as more older couples go their separate ways. It is said that as many as one in four divorces now occur between partners for 20 years or more.

What can an Adult of Divorce do to protect themselves?

1. Do NOT neglect your own career or savings plan. As a mother I know I am no good to my children if I do not take care of myself. This is true of the adult of divorce parents. You do not know financially what will be required of you for either parent. As well, you may have been “banking” on the inheritance or parental support in your lifetime — it may not be the case any longer.

2. Introduce a financial planning component into the divorce talks. If your parents are still hammering out their agreement, let them know that, by using the latest divorce financing techniques, they can keep more money for everybody.

3. Research long-term care insurance to offset future costs.

In intact marriages, the first partner to suffer illness or decline is usually cared for by his or her spouse. Older divorced couples may not find other partners to care for them, or they may end up caring for partners that have no relationship to their own children. So children of divorce can end up with two aging parents in two different living situations and less cash to deploy hiring help.

4. Make sure each parent, especially the needier one, has good financial guidance.

Take some of the burden off of you and “force” each parent to become accountable and responsible for their decisions and what it means for each one. How are they going to live? Where will they live? Can the parent afford a caregiver if needed?

Unfortunately this has become a trend and while we all think as we get older we will have more financial security – something like this can alter your course. Know it DOESN’T have to!

All my best,

Sandra

** these points were taken from the article written by Linda Stern, National Post, January 2011.

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