These days it’s becoming more common for married couples who are over the age of 50 to divorce. It has even been given its own name: the Gray Divorce.
While many of the legal implications remain the same, there are a number of specific things to consider for someone who is considering a divorce at this stage of their life.
Getting a divorce will be much less expensive and less stressful if both parties are in agreement that the marriage should end. If this isn’t the case, you will need to consider any financial concerns that could come with getting into a potentially lengthy court battle. For couples who are willing to work together, using a collaborative approach or relying on a mediator can be a good way to resolve disagreements and come to a solution on terms.
Though it is not always the case, the likelihood of children being involved in the divorce proceedings is higher in a more established relationship. It may be the case that the children are grown up, have moved out and become independent – but it is still necessary to consider how each parent will continue to interact with each child and how other responsibilities are dealt with, such as post-secondary education expenses.
It may also be a time to update your will and estate plan in accordance with the new realities after the divorce.
If you are unprepared, a divorce may wreak havoc on your financial stability, such as being unaware of any debts your partner may be responsible for or not properly considering pensions and social security in the division of assets process.
The financial considerations for someone over 50 will be different than someone who is 25 – you may not be in the workforce for much longer and need to protect your long-term financial security. You will need to make sure that your Family Lawyer is aware of this and capable to handle any challenges such as how the divorce will impact your retirement plans, and whether those plans should be set out in any agreement that you may reach.
It may be a challenge to step away from a relationship that, at this point, may have lasted for the majority of your life. Being conscious of the emotional responses you are likely to have and anticipating how you will respond to them can be a vital part of the process for helping you get through the divorce. Again, a Lawyer can help prepare you for these situations and let you know what to expect.