Women getting divorced over the age of fifty may have a number of concerns about their financial future. In this article, we look at the ways in which you can recover; from embarking on a new career, prioritising your retirement fund and using a separation agreement to ensure you are outlining how matrimonial assets will be divided.

The challenges of divorce for women over 50 

The generation of women over the age of fifty were typically not working at a younger age and instead stayed at home to look after the family. This can leave them in a potentially weaker financial position than most men and as a result, leave them concerned about how they will manage financially as they age. According to a research report by Age UK, men are more likely than women to recover their financial position within 10 years of divorce or separation and women are more likely than men to have a persistent problem with debt. 

To allay some of the key concerns and to help towards financial recovery, there are some steps you can take: 

  • Seek a separation agreement 

Acquiring a separation agreement can be beneficial in helping you and your ex-spouse to come to a mutual agreement on finances. Although they are not a legally binding document, they are considered a form of contract and serve to outline how joint matrimonial assets such as a business, investments, pensions and property should be divided on completion of a divorce. It can also include information on who will pay household bills or manage any outstanding joint debts. Another benefit of a separation agreement is that they can accelerate the divorce process, helping to keep legal costs down.  

  • Don’t sign on the dotted line until you’re happy with the division of assets 

In the first phase after a divorce, lots of things can be said and offered before a divorce if finalised. Unfortunately, not all of these promises are upheld when it comes to the crunch. To prevent yourself from having to go into debt, or end up with financial problems after your divorce, make sure you are content with all aspects, and don’t presume your ex will stick to the promise of paying off joint financial liabilities or to pay you a certain amount of maintenance. 

  • Make retirement plans a key goal 

With less time to save for your retirement, make sure you are working towards and saving for the days when you will no longer be working. If you have been hit hard by your divorce, this could mean adapting to a new lifestyle, spending less money on little luxuries to put into your retirement fund. Although it can be overwhelming to think about a new career in your fifties, and you may feel you have limited wider work experience, you will have developed key transferable skills that are likely to be useful in a number of workplace settings. By speaking to a career expert about your choices, you can gain access to valuable information such as job ideas, writing your CV and going to interviews. You can even tap into your network of friends to see if they know of any roles, or introduce yourself more slowly by taking on a part time role to begin with.


Although you may want to make sure your divorce is as swift as possible, it’s important to take time to ensure you are clear on what your divorce settlement should include. This will also give you some thinking time about what your saving goals should be and if you need to, how you will restart your career.