Divorce can hit any couple, regardless of their age, their wealth, or the length of their marriage. But a gray divorce, meaning one that occurs over the age of 50, can be especially difficult. This is because many of these divorces involve long marriages, extensive assets, and heightened emotions. Regardless of the circumstances of your divorce, though, you’ll need to make sure that you’re addressing a number of important issues. Let’s look at some of them here:
- The family home: Older couples who divorce are more likely to have built a life and raised a family in their home. This usually means that there’s a significant amount of financial and sentimental value built into the residence. This can make it challenging to part ways with the home. But you’ll want to carefully consider how to deal with the residence in a way that secures your financial stability. Are you able to maintain the home and anticipate needed repairs on your own income? If not, then it may not be best for you to fight for the home.
- Your ability to work: If you’ve been a stay-at-home spouse, then you might be worried about your ability to find an appropriate job at this stage in life. That’s an understandable concern, which is why you may want to consider seeking spousal support. If you can show that you gave up your education or career to raise a family or support your spouse, then you can probably demonstrate to a court that you deserve alimony to ensure that you’re financially stable post-divorce.
- Anticipated healthcare costs: This is especially important if you’ve been on your spouse’s insurance policy up to this point. You’ll need to secure your own policy, which can be pretty costly. So, take your insurance premium and your needed medical treatment into account as you negotiate or litigate your divorce.
- Retirement accounts: A lot of older couples have significant savings in retirement accounts. You need to make sure that you obtain your fair share of those assets considering that they might be the best way to secure your long-term financial stability. This may mean seeking a Qualified Domestic Relations Order that ensures that those assets are divided in a way that avoids tax penalties and that gives you the access that you need.
- Government benefits: Another way for you to obtain financial stability after a gray divorce is to seek out the government benefits to which your entitled. This may include a certain portion of your spouse’s Social Security benefits. There are certain qualifications that have to be met here, though, so make sure that you discuss this with your attorney before proceeding with your divorce.
Secure the bright future that you deserve
We know that divorce is an emotional process, especially when you’re older and you’ve been married for a long time. But there is a way to get through the gray divorce process with dignity and compassion. You just have to be prepared to address the various legal issues that you’ll confront, which means gathering evidence and developing a strong legal position. If that sounds daunting to you, don’t worry. An experienced legal professional can help guide you through your marriage dissolution so that you’re positioned as favorably as possible for your post-divorce life. If that kind of representation sounds beneficial, then we encourage you to continue to read our website and research the representation option that is right for you.