Berman & Asbel, LLP

3 Things That Change When Older Couples Divorce

While once considered almost unheard of, divorcing after the age of 50 is more common than ever. In fact, since the 1990s, the number of people divorcing after the age of 50 has doubled, and the number of people divorcing after the age of 65 has tripled.

Divorcing later in life may no longer be unheard of, but it is still something that is new to most people who go through this difficult process. And while you probably don't have to think about child support or parenting plans, there are a few major changes to consider when you go through divorce at an older age.

  1. Your retirement plans change. In your divorce, all your shared assets will be eligible for distribution between you and your ex in accordance with equitable distribution laws, and for most people this will include retirement savings and pensions. This means that you might wind up working longer or changing your plans for retirement based on the amount of money you will have after divorce.
  2. Your estate plans change. When you divorce, you will probably also need to change your estate plan. You might need to reassign powers of attorney, adjust medical directives and revisit your beneficiaries. 
  3. Your living situations change. Whether you stay in your marital home or move elsewhere, you will need to think about furnishing the home, setting up utilities and maintaining the home based on your post-divorce financial situation. You will also need to adjust to having your own household, which can be difficult after decades of splitting the work with someone else. This might require that you learn new skills, like managing bill payments or cooking. 

Divorcing at any age comes with some serious challenges. And while older spouses are often able to avoid some elements of the divorce process, they still face numerous challenges of divorce, including those discussed above. Remember, though, that these transitions are temporary; you can overcome them with planning, patience and support.

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