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The financial challenges of a 'gray' divorce

According to a survey of married and former spouses by UBS Global Wealth Management, most women leave investing and major financial decisions to their husbands. This can lead to major problems for an older wife in Texas who decides to get a "gray" divorce.

In fact, this is an issue for more than just older women. The study claims that 61 percent of millennial women and 54 percent of baby boomer women leave the investment decisions up to the husband. However, the researchers also found that the divorced and widowed women in the survey regretted this decision. Nearly all said that given hindsight, they would seek more financial transparency.

Over half of the divorced or widowed women said they made unexpected financial discoveries when their marriages ended. While some of those discoveries were positive, such as learning about a retirement account, others were negative and included finding out about spending and debt they were unaware of. With divorce among older adults on the rise, doubling since the 1990s, some exes over 50 might be responsible for finances for the first time in their lives.

Divorce near retirement age presents a number of challenges. People have fewer working years ahead of them to recover financially from divorce, and it may be more difficult for those who have not worked outside the home to enter the workforce. If one spouse does not know much about the household finances, this may add additional difficulties. However, an attorney could provide information about divorce negotiations and how to take steps for greater financial security.

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