Divorce Over 50 is a difficult process, but when you’re over 50, there are a few additional factors that need to be considered. These challenges may include financial considerations, such as the division of retirement accounts and pensions, as well as the potential impact on your health insurance and Social Security benefits.

Additionally, older adults may also have to navigate issues related to the care of aging parents and grandparents. In this article, we will explore some of the unique challenges that individuals over 50 may face during the divorce process and provide tips for navigating these challenges.

Division of Assets

When it comes to dividing assets in a later-in-life divorce, the house is often one of the most important assets to consider. For the spouse who chooses to keep the house, there are a number of benefits to consider. For example, your age may determine your eligibility for property tax exemptions or waivers, which can be a significant financial benefit. Additionally, if you are 62 years or older, you may qualify for a reverse mortgage, which can provide you with additional income during your retirement.

If you qualify for public benefits, your primary residence may also receive special treatment. Furthermore, there may be tax benefits that can be incurred later in life, depending on your specific situation. Additionally, you have access to rental income, if you choose to rent out the house.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that owning a house also comes with responsibilities, such as ongoing maintenance and the potential for the property value to decrease. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. Also, if you decide to keep the house, it’s important to make sure that you can afford the mortgage payments, property taxes, and other expenses associated with home ownership.

It’s recommended to consider consulting a financial advisor or a divorce attorney to evaluate your options and make the best decision that suits your needs and goals.


Retirement is one of the most important financial considerations in a divorce for individuals over 50. Dividing retirement plans can be complex and requires the expertise of a financial expert who is familiar with the laws and regulations surrounding retirement accounts.

During the final stages of your divorce, your lawyer will work with you to determine how your retirement accounts will be divided. They will help you understand the tax implications of receiving distributions from your retirement accounts and help you avoid any penalties. They will also advise you on whether you are eligible for survivor benefits in the event that your spouse dies post-divorce.

Another important factor to consider is whether your spouse has taken out loans against a 401(k) or other retirement account. If they have, your financial expert will help you determine whether these loans need to be repaid before the division of funds. Additionally, they will help you understand if you are entitled to any contributions made to the retirement fund post-divorce and if you can get a hardship withdrawal.

For military families, it’s important to note that civilian spouses may be eligible for military retirement benefits in the divorce. A financial expert will help you understand the specifics of military retirement benefits and how they may be divided in your divorce.

Social Security

Divorce can have a significant impact on your Social Security benefits. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to Social Security and divorce:

  • As mentioned earlier, a court cannot divide Social Security benefits, but the rules are still relevant to your income after a divorce. If you’re 62 or older and were married for a decade or more, you can collect retirement benefits on your ex-spouse’s Social Security record without reducing the portion of the benefits they get.
  • You might be eligible for up to 50% of benefits from your former spouse’s benefit.
  • You can start receiving benefits at 62 on your own SS record or your ex’s, then switch to the other once you reach full retirement age is that benefit is higher.
  • After you’ve been divorced two years, you are entitled to benefits through your ex even if they aren’t yet receiving benefits.
  • If your ex dies, you might be eligible to receive 100% of their SS benefit as survivor’s benefit, if you meet these requirements: The marriage lasted 10+ years, You are 60+ years old, You are not entitled to retirement benefits that are of equal or greater value than your ex’s benefit.

It’s important to consult with a financial advisor before making any decisions regarding the division of retirement accounts and social security benefits during a divorce.


If you get divorced at an older age, you might find yourself living on less income than you expected. You might have to work longer than you imagined or re-enter the workforce. When working on financial plans during the divorce process, it is important to take into consideration the following factors:

  • Calculate living expenses: Make sure to factor in all of your living expenses, including housing, food, transportation, and healthcare. This will help you understand how much money you need to maintain your current lifestyle.
  • Shoot for a mixed portfolio: Consider diversifying your investments to include both stocks and bonds. This will help you balance the risk and potential reward of your investments.
  • Understand tax consequences: Be aware of the tax implications of your divorce. For example, you may be subject to capital gains taxes if you sell assets, such as a home or investments.
  • Know the time value of money: Keep in mind that the longer you have until retirement, the more time you have to save and invest. This can help you make more informed decisions about your financial future.
  • Generate your own income: Consider ways to generate your own income, such as starting a business or taking on freelance work. This will give you more control over your financial future and help you become less dependent on your ex-spouse.

With these considerations in mind, you will be better equipped to navigate the financial challenges that come with a later-in-life divorce. It is also important to seek professional advice from financial advisors to help you make the best decisions for your unique situation.


Serious health conditions can play a significant role in the divorce process, particularly when it comes to the division of assets and alimony. If one spouse is suffering from a serious illness, it can impact their ability to work and earn an income, which can affect their financial stability after the divorce. In cases where one spouse is unable to work or has limited earning potential, they may be entitled to alimony to ensure that they have enough resources to support themselves after the divorce.

In addition to financial considerations, serious health conditions can also impact the decision-making process in a divorce. For example, if one spouse has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, they may not be able to fully understand or participate in the divorce proceedings. In these cases, a court-appointed guardian may be necessary to make decisions on their behalf.

It’s important to note that the court will consider the health condition of both parties when dividing the marital assets, and if one spouse has a serious health condition that may impact their earning potential, the court will consider this in dividing the marital assets.

Estate Planning

Estate planning is an important aspect of divorce for individuals over 50 as it can have a significant impact on the distribution of assets and financial security. When going through a divorce, it is important to review and update wills, retirement plans, and power of attorney documents to ensure they reflect the current circumstances and wishes of both parties.

Reviewing life insurance policies and beneficiaries is also important as they can provide death benefits to the surviving spouse or children, and can also be a source of security against debt, alimony, and property buyouts.

Establishing trusts can also be a useful tool in estate planning during a divorce. Trusts can be used to provide for responsibilities that both spouses have agreed upon, such as financial support for children or grandchildren.

Additionally, it is important to consider the potential impact on Social Security and other government benefits, as well as any potential tax implications of the divorce on your estate and financial plan.

Final Thoughts 

In conclusion, divorce after the age of 50 can present a unique set of challenges, including financial considerations such as the division of retirement accounts and pensions, and the potential impact on health insurance and Social Security benefits. Additionally, older adults may also have to navigate issues related to the care of aging parents and grandparents. It’s also important to consider the health condition of both parties when dividing the marital assets. 

If you are facing a late-life divorce, it’s important to seek professional guidance and support to navigate the complexities of this process. The Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) at Miod and Company are here to help and can assist you in navigating the complexities of Special Issues in Late-Life Divorce. Schedule a free consultation to find out how we can help.

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