Grey divorce poses unique challenges for British Columbia couples

On behalf of Peterson Stark Scott posted in Divorce on August 7, 2019.

Younger couples whose marriages end may have much with which to contend, and most of that may involve their young children. But that doesn’t make divorce any less easy for older British Columbia couples whose children have left the nest. More couples in their 50s and beyond are choosing to divorce, but grey divorce can come with its own set of issues.

Older couples may have amassed far more combined assets that will have to be divided during the divorce process. There may, in some instances, be more at stake financially. Divorce used to be something very rarely seen among older married couples, but with changing times have come changing attitudes, and some couples decide that, once the children are grown, there is nothing more to keep them together. In fact, while only 4 per cent of married Canadians aged 65 or older were divorced in 1981, that number in 2013 had risen to 12 per cent.

A couple who may have shared a financial adviser would be well advised to get individual advisers instead of continuing to share the same one. Each will need advice on things like retirement accounts, shared credit cards, shared real estate and other shared assets. Having independent guidance may be prudent.

The same goes for legal advice when it comes to couples who divorce later in life. Each individual must have independent legal counsel. A British Columbia lawyer can advise an older client — who may share a sizable amount of assets with his or her partner — as to what the law indicates in terms of those assets as well as shared debt.

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