What You Need to Know About Getting Divorced as a Senior
When a couple reaches a certain age, they may contemplate divorce. This decision can be difficult for any couple, but it can be especially difficult for seniors who have been married for many years. If you are considering getting divorced later in life, here are some things you need to know.
Basic Divorce-Related Considerations
First, you should know that there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to getting divorced later in life. Every situation is different, and you will need to weigh all the factors involved before making a decision. That being said, here are some things to consider:
- Finances: One of the biggest concerns for couples considering divorce later in life is finances. In most cases, both parties will see a decrease in income after divorce. This can be difficult to manage, especially if one party is already living on a tight budget. It’s important to discuss finances openly and honestly with your spouse before making any decisions about divorce.
- Health: Another major consideration when getting divorced later in life is health. As we get older, our health begins to decline, and we become more susceptible to diseases and illnesses. If one or both spouses are not in good health, it may not be wise to go through with the divorce. The stress of the process could take a toll on their health and make things worse.
- Children: Divorcing as a senior typically rules out the need to determine custodial issues. That is not universal, however. There are a notable number of divorces each year involving older men and younger women. Minor children many times are involved in those types of divorce cases. If you have children, custody will be another major factor to consider when getting divorced later in life. In most cases, parents will continue to share custody of their children even after divorce. However, there are some situations where one parent may be awarded sole custody if the other parent is unable to care for the children due to illness or incapacity.
- Retirement: Retirement is another important consideration when getting divorced later in life. In most cases, both spouses will need to rethink their retirement plans after the divorce. This can be difficult, especially if one spouse is planning on retiring soon and the other is not. It’s important to discuss retirement plans with your spouse and come up with a plan that works for both of you.
- Living Arrangements: Finally, you will need to think about your living arrangements post-divorce. In most cases, both spouses will need to find new places to live after the split. This can be difficult, especially if one spouse has lived in the family home for many years and the other has not. You will need to discuss
What Is Community Property?
If you are divorcing as a senior and live in a state like California, assets, and debts accumulated during the course of the marriage will be distributed according to what is known as the community property standard.
In those states that use the community property standard, all property acquired by a married couple during the course of their marriage is considered to be community property. This means that both spouses have an equal interest in any property that is acquired, regardless of who actually owns it. Community property laws vary from state to state but typically apply to assets such as real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, and retirement accounts.
Community property laws exist to protect the interests of both spouses in the event of a divorce. If one spouse acquires a large asset such as a house or a car during the marriage, the other spouse may have a claim to part of that asset in the event of a divorce. This can help ensure that both spouses are treated fairly in the event of a divorce.
As an aside, community property laws can also be helpful in cases where one spouse dies. If the deceased spouse owned any assets that were acquired during the marriage, those assets would typically be passed on to the surviving spouse. This can help ensure that the surviving spouse does not lose out financially after the death of their partner.
Benefits of Divorce Mediation in a Divorce Involving Seniors
When it comes to divorce, there are many different ways to handle the process. Some couples opt for an amicable divorce, working together to come to an agreement on everything from child custody to dividing up assets. Others choose to go through a more traditional route, hashing out agreements in court. These avenues are followed by divorcing couples of all ages, including seniors.
But there’s another option that’s becoming increasingly popular: divorce mediation. This approach allows couples to work with a mediator to hash out agreements outside of court. And there are several benefits to choosing this route. Divorce mediation can be particularly attractive to seniors who are involved in marriage dissolution proceedings.
- It’s cheaper than a traditional divorce. One of the biggest benefits of divorce mediation is that it’s often much cheaper than going through a traditional divorce. The mediator typically charges a flat rate, whereas attorneys can charge by the hour. This can add up quickly, especially if both parties are fighting over every little thing.
- It’s faster than a traditional divorce. Another benefit of divorce mediation is that it tends to be much quicker than going through a traditional divorce. Couples can typically wrap things up in a few months, as opposed to spending years in court. This can be especially beneficial if there are children involved and they need as little disruption as possible in their lives.
- It’s less stressful than a traditional divorce. Finally, one of the biggest benefits of divorce mediation is that it’s typically much less stressful than going through a traditional divorce. There are no fights in court, no long legal battles, and no one feeling like they’re getting the short end of the stick. This can be a huge relief for couples who are already going through a difficult time.
Divorce is a possibility at any stage of life. When it happens to seniors, the process can be uniquely emotional and challenging. As a consequence, in closing, if you are struggling with the emotional aspects of your marriage coming to an end, you might want to give serious consideration to seeking support and assistance from a therapist or counselor. In this day and age, there are therapists and counselors that specialize in assisting people through marriage dissolution proceedings, including women and men in their senior years.