How Do Later-Life Divorces Differ?

Marriage is about joining two lives into one, so divorce is very challenging for older or senior-aged couples. The challenges of divesting the combined interests of a couple who have been married for many years is extremely difficult. For couples who are older and have spent many years together sharing a life and accumulating assets, a divorce can be particularly emotional and complicated after so many years. After spending so many years together, even a mutually sought divorce can be filled with mixed feelings and anxiety.

Understanding the long-term impacts of a divorce

For those going through a divorce later in life, the process can be emotional and financially risky. From houses and cars to retirement accounts, older divorcees have to be careful that they leave the marriage with enough resources to meet their financial obligations now that their working years are behind them. While negotiating the settlement agreement, gray divorcees need to carefully consider each of the following areas and create a plan before beginning negotiation.

  • Pensions: Gray divorces, those in later life, likely include retirees and spouses who have put their working years behind them. It can be challenging to navigate the details of the pension division. Pensions are considered marital property, so while they can be a complicated asset to coordinate, they can be valuable for your long-term financial stability.
  • Retirement Savings: Accounts used for tax-advantaged retirement savings can also be difficult to divide as they are created from a compilation of various investment instruments. You may need to hire a financial professional to help provide an accurate assessment of the value of these accounts.
  • Real Estate: Home values are difficult to nail down, so selling a property is often required before a true valuation can be determined. If the family home is important to one party and it’s on the list to be sold, spouses can reach a valuation agreement where one spouse would buy out the other. The proceeds will then be divided accordingly.

Gray divorces are complex and racked with issues that younger and newly married couples would not face. That’s why one of the most important issues facing older divorcees is choosing the right method for their divorce. When on a fixed income, a divorce can easily derail your financial stability through legal fees and court dates. One of the biggest challenges for couples going through a complicated divorce is navigating a path that leads to a fair, equitable, and cost-effective outcome. Couples choosing to divorce later in life may appreciate the low conflict of an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce allows couples to reach an agreement and work with an attorney to simply file the appropriate paperwork on their behalf.

Thinking about the future

While divorce is an emotionally taxing experience, if you and your spouse both want to move forward separately, an uncontested divorce could help you end your marriage on your terms for as little as $219. Even with an uncontested divorce, you still have to adhere to deadlines and paperwork requirements to ensure your divorce is processed accordingly. Even one improperly filed document or missed deadline can send your divorce off course. At Cairns Law Group, we can help you tackle the details of your uncontested divorce. Our fee even includes court costs, and you can complete your paperwork and file everything online. Call us today at (888) 863-9115 for more information or if you have questions about our eDivorce program.

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