According to a 2012 Internal Revenue Service report, almost 1 million women who experience divorce in 2007 controlled assets worth at least $2 million. To put this number into perspective, consider that the IRS figures for divorced men under similar circumstances was estimated to be approximately 1.3 million individuals.
Additionally, women in that $2 million in assets category tended to be older than their male counterparts. At least 80 percent of them were beyond the age of 50. This trend in older women possessing substantial wealth can be problematic for some. Sometimes women divorcing men of great financial means are unaccustomed to handling complex investment decisions and otherwise safeguarding those assets.
A wealthy divorcee who was interviewed in response to IRS findings, says that the lack of wealthy female role models has unintentionally left many recently divorced women uncertain of their next moves.
A pair of sociologists from Bowling Green State University in Ohio say that the dynamics of divorce have changed considerably over time. The experts say that the number of women age 65 and older tripled between 1980 and 2008. According to the researchers, the old paradigm of younger divorced women with children struggling to make ends meet now has a counterpart. There are now older women who experienced divorce after their children had already grown and their shared wealth with their spouses had grown substantially throughout a lengthy marriage.
A Phoenix-based financial planner says that suddenly being thrust into the control of such wealth can sometimes bring about unexpected problems. The planner says that she personally helped two Arizona women, both over 50, in wresting back control of seven-figure inheritances in which other family members had attempted to “assist” them with.
Going through a divorce is never easy but for people of a certain age, these dramatic life changes can require experienced guidance. Your family law attorney can prove invaluable in helping you through a divorce that involves high assets and the division of highly-valued property.
Source: New York Times, “Older Women and Challenges of Wealth” Fran Hawthorne, Oct. 22, 2014