More and more couples are getting divorced later in life. Some attribute this shift to an increase in female independence in modern relationships. Since women are no longer solely dependent on their husbands, they often feel more free to divorce their spouse if they are unhappy in their marriage. Others believe that our longer lifespans are contributing to these late-life decisions. With people living 90+ years, being married to the same person for that amount of time may not be in the cards for every couple. Known as gray divorce, getting divorced after the age of 50 brings on its own unique challenges, making it critical to hire a divorce attorney who can help you avoid making the following mistakes.
Rarely do both spouses have an equal hand in managing the household finances. Over time, particular chores get assigned to each spouse and paying bills or managing accounts is often one of these. If you are the spouse who took on other responsibilities throughout your marriage, it is important to do your own inventory of your assets and debts. In some cases, divorcing spouses may attempt to conceal assets during the divorce to keep them for themselves. This is especially true for couples who have been married longer and have more savings and debts collected.
Almost every decision that you make in your divorce will entail a transfer of assets or finances from one spouse to the other. Maybe you decided to keep the family home or are receiving child support or alimony. Whatever decisions you make in the process will come with their own taxes. You should look into the tax implications of each decision and select the one that makes the most sense. Should you pay your alimony in a lump sum or make monthly payments? Is keeping or selling your house the best idea? Your attorney will be able to guide you through these determinations and lead you to a reputable tax advisor when necessary.
At your age, your kids may be almost off to college or out of the house completely. The family home likely holds sentimental value to you and your family and you may wish to keep the home because of this emotional tie. Before deciding whether or not you should keep the family home, be sure to consider all of your options. Would selling the home help you pay off any remaining debts that you may have? Do you really need the amount of space that you have in your home? While it may be difficult to let go, doing so is often the best choice for divorcing couples whose children no longer live at home.
If you are divorcing at a later age, you and your spouse likely had a retirement fund piled up to share later in life. Married couples typically combine their retirement accounts and are unsure of what to do when they decide to divorce later in life. In most cases, your retirement savings are considered part of the marital estate, which means each spouse is entitled to equitable portion of them in a divorce. However, dividing retirement accounts can be complicated and generally requires the assistance of a qualified lawyer as well as a financial professional to provide an accurate assessment of the accounts’ value. Your lawyer can also help you prepare a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO), which gives the retirement plan administrator instructions on how to divide the account in accordance with your divorce judgment.
Whether you are getting divorced after just a few years or decades of marriage, it is imperative that you work with a reputable divorce attorney. The emotional and financial implications of divorce can leave many older couples scared to end their marriage. The compassionate legal team at Mevorah Law Offices, LLC is prepared to walk you through each step of the process and help you come out financially stable on the other side. With over 200 years of combined experience, our attorneys have worked with numerous older couples who are looking to start a new life. For legal help, contact our Lombard divorce lawyers at 630-932-9100 to schedule your free consultation.
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