Divorcing Later in Life
Sept. 8, 2022
With many people living longer, divorce later in life is becoming more common. Couples who once had strong and happy marriages may find, after all the years that have passed, that they are no longer in the right relationship.
A divorce during your silver years involves a different set of considerations and problems than what a younger couple typically faces. Whether you are just beginning to think about divorce or you know this is the right option for your future happiness, it is helpful to be prepared.
Divorce later in life can be legally complicated, so it’s helpful to have a knowledgeable attorney at your side. At our firm, Crumpley & Crumpley PC, we prioritize clear and effective communication. We use our decades of legal experience and exclusive focus on family law to fight for our clients’ best interests in and out of the courtroom. Crumpley & Crumpley PC proudly represents clients in Livermore, California, as well as Walnut Creek, Danville, Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, and the nearby areas.
Common Reasons People Divorce Later in Life
Many couples who were once perfectly happy for many years find that, in their silver years, they no longer have that happiness. There are several common reasons why couples choose a silver divorce.
They have different priorities for their sunset years. One spouse may want a peaceful and relaxing retirement, while the other spouse may seek adventure and excitement. It may be impossible to resolve these conflicting interests.
They don’t enjoy being retired together. It’s possible that for many years one spouse managed the home while the other spouse worked. When both spouses are at home most of the time during retirement, new problems can arise that lead to the realization that the marriage is no longer working.
They find something is missing once the children leave home. While the couple may have been happy while raising a family together, once the last bird flies the nest, new or old problems in the marriage can surface that makes it impossible to stay together.
These are some, but not all, of the common reasons for divorcing later in life.
What You Should Consider
A silver divorce involves a somewhat complicated set of financial factors. Pay attention to these common considerations when divorcing later in life.
Division of Assets
Over the years of your marriage, you most likely acquired many assets together. The division of assets such as your home, vehicles, jewelry, and other valuable items requires special attention. Who will keep the home is an especially important consideration. Or, will the home will be sold and the proceeds divided?
Alimony, or spousal support payments, can be extremely important in a silver divorce. If one spouse decides to stay home so the other spouse could pursue their career, then alimony payments could be essential for financial survival.
Similarly, retirement accounts can be critically important in a late-life divorce. These accounts can also be a complicated legal matter. You may need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to determine how retirement accounts will be divided. Speak with a knowledgeable divorce attorney in California to learn more.
Did you know that when you pay alimony, you should also carry a life insurance policy equal to the amount of alimony? You may be legally responsible for doing so. A family law attorney can help you understand your obligations regarding any existing life insurance policies as well as the possible need for a new life insurance policy equal to alimony.
There are two factors that affect Social Security and your divorce. First, your marriage must have lasted 10 years. Second, you must be 62 or older. If you meet these two qualifications, then you could be eligible to draw up to 50% of your former spouse’s Social Security benefit.
Mistakes to Avoid
Because silver divorce can be so complicated, it can be easy to make mistakes. However, these errors could end up costing you financially. It’s important to be aware of the following common mistakes when divorcing later in life – and to ask a knowledgeable family law attorney your questions:
Not thinking about taxes ahead of time
Lying about assets
Not having a plan for your health insurance
Underestimating your expenses for daily life after the divorce
These are some, but not all, of the common mistakes people make when divorcing later in life.
Don’t Go Through Divorce Alone. Call Now.
Perhaps the worst mistake you could make during a silver divorce is not having a team on your side. At Crumpley & Crumpley PC, we will be the legal experts on your team guiding you through each step of the process. We’ll bring our decades of experience, our family law knowledge, and our tenacity to your case. Our firm proudly serves clients in Livermore, California, as well as Walnut Creek, Danville, Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, and the nearby areas. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.