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The challenges for women who divorce later in life

The rise in divorce rates among people in their 50s and older over the past few decades has been well documented. While divorce may provide relief from an unhappy, unfulfilling marriage for both men and women, the financial impact for women is more serious. That's why it's essential for women who are divorcing in their pre-retirement and retirement years to seek the best possible settlement in order to retire comfortably and on schedule.

In 2012, the Social Security Administration reported findings from its research that "increasing proportions of women will be divorced when they reach retirement." The SSA also noted that women who were divorced were worse off financially in their later years than those who had never married. Economists, too, have found that women who divorced in middle age and later were more likely to still be in the workforce into their mid-70s.

A key reason why women who divorce later in life have a more difficult time financially than men is that they're more likely to have taken time off from full-time work. Therefore, getting back into the workforce and making enough money to support themselves as a single person can be challenging. The SSA found that when comparing the poverty rates of women in their 80s who were divorced, widowed and never married, divorced women fared worse.

If you're divorcing after many years of marriage, it's essential to work to ensure that you are protected financially until you can support yourself and that your retirement is not endangered. An experienced New York family law attorney can work to help you seek a settlement that will allow you to do that.

Source: CBS News, "The devastation of divorce for older women," Aimee Picchi, Oct. 21, 2016

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