Should I Divorce After 50?
While divorce rates overall have reduced in recent years, the amount of divorces for couples over the age of 50 has nearly doubled. Over 600,000 people over 50 years old got divorced in 2010, and the rate of divorce was 2.5 times higher for those in remarriage than for people ending their first marriage.
It’s never too late to get a divorce and move forward with your life if you’re feeling unhappy and unsatisfied with your marriage. You’ve still got half of your life left – don’t waste it in an unhappy marriage. While a divorce can be stressful and time-consuming, it can be worth it.
Our team at Skillern Firm is here to assist you through this difficult time. With years of experience in helping clients secure the best divorce settlement possible, we know that we can help you too. Every case is unique, so we’ll support you individually and take the time to get to know you and your specific circumstances. We’ll fight tirelessly to ensure that your legal rights and interests are protected, either through negotiation or litigation.
So, to receive excellent and reliable legal advice, contact Skillern Firm at 936-213-8479.
Why Is the Over-50 Divorce Rate Rising?
Known as “gray divorce”, there are several factors contributing to this phenomenon.
Firstly, people now have a much longer life expectancy, and as people grow older, many grow apart. Many married couples may find themselves no longer happy with their spouse.
As well as this, a lot of working women are now earning as much as, if not more than, their husbands. Because of this financial independence, they are in a much better position than in the past to seek a divorce.
After children grow up and leave their family home, the relationship between husband and wife often changes, which can be a contributing factor in divorces amongst older couples.
However, arguably the most significant factor is the changing views of society regarding divorces. Getting divorced has become very normal nowadays, and it’s not the taboo it once was.
Regardless of the personal reason why you are seeking a divorce, the team at Skillern Firm is here to help you every step of the way.
What Is Different About Divorce After 50?
There are some unique challenges that you may face as someone getting a divorce after 50. For starters, you’re likely to have decades of history with your spouse, including mutual friends and family members. Many couples often have children together, which can further complicate matters. Also, after the age of 50, your finances are much more likely to be intertwined and complex. Professional divorce attorneys will be able to help you sort through these issues.
Years of History
When couples go through a late-life divorce, they usually share more history, between themselves and also with their families and friends. This can make the entire divorce process and the time being newly divorced particularly challenging, as although you’re divorced, it doesn’t mean that your spouse will disappear from your life.
After so many years, your family may love and be connected with your spouse, and they themselves might not be ready to separate, even if you are. They too have decades of history together.
If you are a spouse who did not want to divorce, this may be incredibly difficult for you to go through.
If you share children under 18 with your spouse, then you will have the problem of agreeing on child support and child custody. The children will also be emotionally affected by the divorce and will have to get used to this sudden change in their lives. If they are older minor children, then they may resist changes, such as court-ordered visitation with a parent.
Even if you have adult children, they will still be impacted by the divorce in some ways. If you have children in college, the court may require you to help out financially with college tuition or their living expenses, even if you never planned on doing so while married.
You may benefit from speaking to a family therapist, especially if children under the age of 18 are affected.
If you were covered by your spouse’s health insurance policy, then you should expect this to disappear after divorce. You’ll need to plan accordingly for this.
If you’re 65 years old or older, you may be eligible for Medicare.
However, if you’re younger, you should know that COBRA will allow you insurance coverage under your spouse’s employer policy for up to 36 months, but this is expensive. You may find that your best option is insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
If you and your spouse go through a legal separation, you may be allowed to keep their employee insurance coverage while allowing you to separate other assets.
It’s important to do some research into your health insurance and determine what the best option will be for you.
Regardless of how old you are, getting a divorce can have an impact on your shared finances. This means it may be important to hire an accountant or tax advisor as the older you are, the more complex your finances usually are. After a long marriage, though, you may have more complicated finances, such as the following:
- A house and/or a mortgage.
- Vehicles and car payments.
- Retirement accounts, and a retirement plan.
- Credit card bills if you have jointly held credit cards.
- Student loans – including your own or your children’s.
- A family business.
These marital assets and debts can complicate the divorce process further. Because of this, it’s important to speak to an attorney who specializes in family law and divorce.
Increased Living Expenses
When you’re single, you’ll find your cost of living will increase as you no longer share expenses. While these additional expenses exist regardless of how old you are, women should be concerned because household income often drops 40% after marriage.
You may also become responsible for other expenses, such as medical, auto, and health insurance.
Because of these extra expenses, you will have to plan and adjust to your new situation.
Retirement funds are very important. They’re taxed or penalized upon early withdrawal, and the value of the account is dependent on maintaining the account until maturity. Therefore, you need to consider the actual value and tax penalty of the funds before you choose to receive them in exchange for other marital property.
Important Tips for Dealing With a Divorce After 50 to Lessen the Impact
Divorce is never easy, and moving forward can be difficult. Explained below are some tips on dealing with divorce and ensuring that you secure a strong settlement that is in your favor.
Seek Legal Help
In the state of Texas, it’s not a requirement to have legal representation when going through a divorce. However, it is highly recommended that you take action and seek help from an experienced and skilled law firm.
It is advisable to hire the following:
- A reputable divorce lawyer.
- A financial adviser, ideally one who is a certified divorce financial planner.
- A therapist (or consider attending a divorce support group).
Without professional help, you’ll be disadvantaged, especially if your spouse has a lawyer on their side. It is crucial that you enlist the help of an experienced divorce lawyer, like those at Skillern Firm. They will be able to support you through this complicated process, take on the bulk of the work on your behalf so you have less stress, and will fight to ensure you receive the best divorce settlement possible.
Avoid Litigation Where Possible
At Skillern Firm, we will always try to settle your case out of court through mediation if possible. This is because of the following:
- It is often less time-consuming.
- It is usually less expensive.
This is even more important for people divorcing after 50, as they are less willing to waste years of their lives and thousands of dollars in court, which can be a very stressful and unpleasant environment.
Our team promises to do everything possible to ensure you have an easier divorce while making sure you get a beneficial resolution. However, we will be prepared to take your case to court if necessary.
Ensure You Have an Understanding of Your Finances
The division of marital property and assets is a vital part of any divorce. Before fighting for a particular asset, you should consider how it will impact you after a divorce. For example, many clients want to be able to keep the house, however, this may not end up in their favor, as they later realize they can’t afford the house and/or they had to give up something that would have been more of an asset to their new life in order to get the house.
To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, ensure you fully understand what your financial situation will be like after the divorce before agreeing to a divorce settlement. Financial planning is essential, else you may end up with a settlement that you thought was good, but will ultimately have a negative impact on your life after the divorce.
Don’t Overvalue Spousal Support Payments
In “gray divorces,” spousal support is often a very important issue because one spouse has usually been out of the workforce for many years. The court will decide on this issue by considering the following:
- The party asking for post-divorce spousal support will need to have been married to their spouse for at least 10 years.
- The requesting party will also need to demonstrate that they are unable to earn a sufficient income that would meet their minimal needs.
- The requesting party will need to demonstrate that they have made an effort to earn a sufficient income or develop the skills needed to do so.
A spouse can also ask for post-divorce spousal support for the following reasons:
- The requesting spouse has a completely incapacitating disability.
- The other spouse committed family violence.
- Any of their shared children have a physical or mental disability, meaning that the spouse who looks after the child is prevented from earning a sufficient income.
In the state of Texas, spousal support is not always granted after long-term marriages. Therefore, you shouldn’t count on monthly payments from an ex-spouse. Furthermore, the chance of your spouse passing away increases as they get older. To protect against this, you should negotiate for a life insurance policy for your spouse, which you own and control.
Try to Get a Job if Possible
After divorce, you may need to reenter the workforce to ensure you have the income necessary to meet your new living expenses. You shouldn’t wait until you’re divorced to start looking. If you need a degree, qualifications, or training for your chosen career path, then you should consider the following:
- A program that will help you make a higher amount of income in the shortest amount of time.
- Something that you believe you’ll enjoy doing.
Even if you’ll receive spousal support after the divorce, you should consider getting a job.
Prepare to Move Forward and Embrace Your New Reality
Your life will change in some ways after a divorce. You may not be able to continue living the same level of lifestyle that you once did, but for many older couples, this would eventually be the case whether you divorced or not. This is because, usually when a couple retires, their lifestyle does take a hit because they no longer have the income from their job, and so can’t afford their usual luxuries.
Therefore, you may have to be prepared to reduce your expenses and learn to budget better. You should already be aware of this and understand how you’ll be able to achieve this before the divorce so that the transition from being married to divorced goes much more smoothly and comfortably.
What Are the Advantages of Working with a Divorce Lawyer?
Divorce can be complicated and lengthy, which is why you need an experienced and skilled divorce on your side. Their thorough knowledge of the process and laws surrounding it means that they’ll be able to support and guide you through the proceedings, which will ease your stress.
Divorce impacts family relationships, property rights, personal finances, and more. This can have a long-term impact on your life, so it’s crucial that you have a reputable attorney fighting on your behalf for your rights and interests. They will ensure that you receive the most beneficial divorce resolution possible.
Contact Skillern Firm
Divorce is the start of a completely new and exciting life. In order to start your new life properly, you need to be able to secure a beneficial settlement, as this will have a significant and lasting impact. Reputable legal representation will be able to ensure you get the best settlement possible.
At Skillern Firm, our team of dedicated lawyers has decades of collective experience in helping clients going through a divorce. We’ll build an attorney-client relationship and work closely with you so that we can fully support you through this entire process. Whether it’s through negotiation or litigation, we’ll fight for what’s best for you, so that you feel ready and confident to move forward.