Divorce Over 50 – What You Need to Know About “Gray” Divorce
Statistics show that while the overall rate of divorce in the U.S is on the decline, couples over the age of 50 are divorcing at a much higher rate than in the past. Though this trend is often referred to as “gray” divorce, some call it “silver” divorce because many couples in this demographic are divorcing after about 25 years of marriage. Instead of exchanging anniversary gifts of silver serving platters, couples are serving each other with divorce papers.
Couples divorcing at this stage of life, particularly after many years of marriage, face different concerns than couples who divorce at an earlier age. Working with a divorce lawyer who understands these factors can help couples transition to the next stage with fewer worries and difficulties.
You Still Have to Think About the Children
Many struggling couples stay together while their children are young to avoid stressing them with a divorce. Then, when the children are grown and out of the house, they feel they can divorce without causing too much family chaos and grief.
Unfortunately, that is often not the case. It is important to take your children’s feelings into consideration whether they are 3 or 33. While you do not need to negotiate parenting time or child support, you do need to work with your spouse to break the news carefully, and keep lines of communications open.
Do You Really Want to Keep the Family Home?
The sentimental value of the family home can be even more significant after a divorce. But before you tie yourself to an asset that may have a great many liabilities, it is important to consider what you are willing to give up to maintain that home in terms of time and money.
Separating from the home can free you from a host of expenses and chores, and enable you to move forward to a new life with greater freedom. But expect to feel a few separation pangs, because if you have lived in a home a long time, it is like saying goodbye to a member of the family. Our experienced attorneys can help you evaluate this decision to find the best solution for you and your goals.
Are You Ready to Handle Health Insurance?
If you and your spouse have been covered by an insurance plan provider by an employer and you suddenly lose access to that plan, you need to be prepared to provide for your own insurance needs. Even when you turn 65 and are eligible for Medicare, you still need to budget a considerable amount for premiums, co-pays, and other medical expenses.
Do You Know What You Owe?
Many divorcing couples are unpleasantly surprised to find that their spouse has been hiding debts. If your spouse took out a loan or incurred a debt while you were married, chances are that you will share in the liability, even if the loan is part of a business your spouse operates without you. If a debt involves some form of wrongdoing, such as expenses related to an extramarital affair, you should be able to force your spouse to shoulder the responsibility. Have your attorney negotiate carefully so that you are responsible for no more than your fair share of marital debt and none of your spouse’s separate debt.
Consider Retirement Savings and Tax Consequences
When dividing property, it is important to understand what retirement assets are available and how they should be valued. It is also vital to understand the tax consequences involved when you liquidate or divide certain types of assets. You also need to avoid penalties for actions such as early IRA withdrawals.
Work with a Divorce Attorney Who Understands the Factors Involved in Gray Divorce
At Batley Family Law, we strive to find solutions right for our clients’ unique needs. We understand the concerns you face when you divorce at different stages of life, including divorce at 50 and older, and we are ready to help you address and overcome the challenges. Call the Albuquerque office of Batley Family Law at (505) 246-0500 or fill out this contact form to take the next step to scheduling a confidential consultation.
What Our Clients Say
“Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
I had a great experience at Batley Family Law. They assisted me with my case. They were excellent and ensured that my case was handled as efficiently as possible and always made me feel informed. This firm helped me through a stressful time. Would absolutely recommend this law firm.”
“Thanks for everything yesterday! I had a very informative and meaningful consultation with Batley Family Law. I can tell that they are compassionate and strong which I admire in a law firm. Their firm has written a great book on New Mexico Divorce Law and they had recommendations for books to help my kids in this process! Thanks for the great gifts as well. I look forward to working with them in the process that lies ahead.”
Bobbie Batley is unquestionably the top family lawyer in New Mexico, largely because of the amazing team she leads. This firm cares about their clients, and puts those needs out front. I will never hesitate to refer to this firm!”
“Batley Family Law is an excellent place to work. I enjoy coming in everyday. It is clear to see how much our attorneys value New Mexican families. They work their hardest to advocate for their clients on a daily basis.”
“Batley Family Law provided me with excellent advice and service to effectively and efficiently resolve an issue with my best interests in mind. They did this with a great deal of compassion. I would highly recommend this firm.”