Divorce is always a traumatic experience, at any age. But for older couples, the so-called "gray divorce," the effect is magnified. Often women in long-term marriages may have left the workforce, so it is harder for them to support themselves. Although this post will address "women" who divorce later in life, these tips apply to any person who is supported by their spouse.
One of your first instincts is probably to get the divorce over as quickly as possible. That is a dangerous approach to take. You need to establish long-term plans to support yourself. That means you need to leave the marriage with sufficient resources to support yourself alone.
You also will need copies of all your financial records. If you were not involved in the investment and retirement plans of your marriage, it is imperative you get all the records. Most experts recommend getting at least three years of tax returns to confirm incomes and tax schedules. If you are part of a high net-worth couple, consider hiring a forensic accountant to verify that all assets and incomes are counted.
Take pictures of all of the objects in the home. Make copies of the hard drives. You may not enjoy this process, but it is imperative that you create a record of what was in the home. Some people try to hide assets by removing them from the home.
If you are considering divorce, then you should get some advice from an attorney. As you can see, divorce is incredibly complicated. Dividing up retirement accounts, property, and business assets take time. A lawyer can guide you through the process and help you set up for the next phase of your life. You don't need to go through divorce alone.