Tips if you’re Divorcing and over 50

By The Law Offices of Ronald H. Kauffman of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Divorce on Friday, July 10, 2015.

Blame it on the Baby Boomers (why not?) but U.S. News reports that the divorce rate for those over 50 has doubled. There are 7 important things to know about if you are divorcing in your 50s.

I’ve written about the issue of divorces by people over the age of 50 before. A study out of Bowling Green State University published their results in The Journals of Gerontology. Interestingly,48% of the divorcees were in their first marriage.

The U.S. News article mentioned seven things to consider:

1. Alimony.

While younger couples may have alimony ordered to provide financial support for their ex, it is often only long enough for lower earning spouses to get back on their feet. But in long-term marriages, courts will more likely consider longer terms of alimony payments, and even permanent alimony.

2. Your retirement money.

All of your marital assets are equitably distributed in a divorce. Many people overlook the fact that their retirement funds may be marital assets. To the extent your retirement funds are marital, they will likely be split evenly.

3. If you keep the house . . .

No one wants to give up their marital home, it provides security during a stressful period, and has a lot of emotional significance. However, selling the home sometimes makes the most sense. If you decide to keep the house, your spouse is going to get something in his or her column in return.

4. Your kids may still be a factor.

If there is a silver lining in a gray divorce, it is that children’s issues do not play a central role. Custody, visitation, and child support issues are usually out of the picture. But not always.

Many adult children live in the home after college, and parents may want to agree to maintani them. Additionally, many parents provide financial support to adult children who may suffer from disabilities. In Florida, child support can be awarded beyond the age of 18 if a child suffers from a disability.

5. Being bitter benefits no one.

The transitional stage of divorce means that emotions are running high. Try to keep conversations neutral. “Be polite, be civil, but keep it businesslike.”

6. Make new friends.

Getting a divorce can have an impact on relationships beyond the marriage. It can polarize friends and leave some ex-spouses feeling alone and defensive.

Possible outlets for social interaction could be taking up your earlier hobbies, finishing that degree, volunteering, or even getting involved in politics.

7. Get a prenuptial agreement.

If you are even considering another marriage, you must get a prenuptial agreement. Without one, a second divorce can take retirement savings – that have already been split once – and divide them even further.

The U.S. News article can be found here.