Divorce is common in people of all ages. When a person over the age of 50 gets divorced, it is often referred to as "gray divorce." Today, it seems to be a growing trend. Between 1990 and 2010, the divorce rate for people over 50 has doubled and dissolving marriage after the age of 60 is increasing as well. Let's look at some of the issue they face.
If you are 60 or older and you are considering getting a divorce, there are a few things that you should know first.
#1 Alimony is almost always granted if the couple was married long-term
Younger couples who haven't been married for too long often get temporary alimony payments so that the spouse who earned less money can get back on their feet. Long-term marriages are different. In many states, such as New York, long-term married couples are awarded alimony for life. If the higher paid spouse is working, there is a good chance that they will be paying alimony.
#2 Your retirement fund will be cut in half
If you are considering divorce, you should understand that you will need to split your retirement fund with your spouse. Yes, even if only of you worked for decades while the other never earned a penny outside the home. You may think that you have plenty of money in your retirement fund; however, when it is divided in half, that large amount doesn't seem so much after all.
#3 You will need to give up something if you keep your house
Most people don't want to give up the house that they have been living in for decades. Since the assets will likely be divided evenly, if you are going to keep the house, you will need to give something to your spouse in return. It could be a greater share of a pension, lower alimony payments, or a cash payout. If you are dead set against selling the house and splitting the profit, you need to be prepared to compensate your spouse.
#4 Adult children might still be a factor
The good thing about a gray divorce is that there are no custody battles and no child support issues. This doesn't mean that adult children are not a factor. If the couple has been providing support to a disabled adult child or a child who is in college, the support can be included in the divorce agreement. However; if the couple is providing support for an adult child who doesn't fit into either of these categories, this type of support cannot be included in the divorce agreement. Because of this, if you are going to continue offering this support, you might need to do it on your own. This can cause a put a dent in your bank account. This is something to consider when filing for divorce.
#5 Being bitter won't benefit you
Emotions always run high during a divorce; however, you need to keep things as civil as possible. While civility is essential, you still want to keep it business-like. If you have plans for the future or favorite possessions, keep that information to yourself. Your spouse could use this information against you and have negotiating power.
#6 Avoid dating until the divorce is final
Just because you are over 60 when getting divorced, it doesn't mean that you have to spend the rest of your life alone. It is great to move on, but you should wait until the divorce is final. Dating before that can upset your children, and ruin relationships with mutual friends. Dating too soon can also add time and money to the divorce proceedings.
#8 Get a prenuptial agreement before getting remarried!
If you meet someone new after your divorce, and another marriage is in the future, you need a prenup. If your second marriage ends in divorce, you could end up paying part of your retirement fund, which may already be split in half after your first divorce.
If you are over 60 and considering divorce, contact McHenry Haszard. We can let you know what to expect during a gray divorce. To schedule a consultation, give us a call today.