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Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


Here is the good news: we are living longer, healthier and more productive lives than we ever thought possible. Here is the bad news – not everyone wants to spend the last third of their life with their current partner/spouse.

The statistics are staggering, with over 40 per cent of marriages in Canada having ended in divorce at a time when divorce seems to be less common for younger adults than those over the age of 50. The so-called “grey divorce,” referring to a divorce between couples, usually from the Baby Boomer generation, is on the rise. If statistics out of the U.S. hold true, here in Canada, according to the Pew Research Centre, the divorce rate has roughly doubled since the 1990s from 5 per cent to 10 per cent for adults over the age of 50. 

Couples married long-term and well into their “grey years” in many cases have become empty-nesters, the relationship hasn’t grown over the years and while the drifting apart hasn’t happened overnight, resentment has been building and divorce can result. According to Rick Peticca, an associate at Shulman Law, “couples who find themselves deciding to divorce, it is important they be fair and reasonable with the other, and recognize that while they may not be able to be spouses to one another, it is still possible to cooperate with each for the sake of the children and grandchildren, as they aim for an amicable exit plan.

This of course is a highly emotional time and can be a financially draining one. Here are a few ways to save money if divorce is your only option:

1) Understand your financial situation. Know the value of your assets, income levels, expenditures and of course liabilities. Remember a divorce will result in an equalization of assets but your cost of living will go up when you have one person paying all the household expense instead of two.
2) Settling out of court is another cost-saving measure. Mediation or negotiating a settlement helps to reduce legal fees, takes far less time and is a better return on investment.
3) Check your emotions at the door. Decisions around assets like a home are always best addressed from a logical perspective.