Divorcing Later in Life

The divorce rate for couples over the age of 50 continues to rise across the United States and has doubled since 1990. Sometimes dubbed a “gray” or “silver” divorce, a separation later in life brings with it different challenges than with younger couples. One or both partners have likely been working and accumulating wealth for decades, they may have several joint properties together, and they may share children that have grown and left the house. 

Because separating two lives at this point becomes more complicated, it’s essential that you work with an experienced family law attorney to ensure all your bases are covered. Roth Davies LLC can help those who are divorcing later in life come out the other side in one piece. The firm proudly serves clients in Overland Park, Kansas, and throughout Johnson County.

Common Reasons People Divorce Later in Life

Couples of all ages grow apart, but sometimes it takes years of being together before you finally figure this out. Some older couples may come to this realization after their youngest child finally leaves home. Children can often keep couples together for longer than they should be, and when they become empty nesters, they recognize their kids were what kept them together for so long. 

Divorce also occurs after one or both partners enter retirement. What was once a life of routine and regular workdays now has you together all day long, and you may find you don’t actually have much in common with your spouse any longer. Additionally, stressors can come into play such as finances, lifestyle choices, or family obligations like taking care of both children and aging parents. 

Considerations for Late-in-Life Divorce

If you’re pursuing a divorce at an older age, it’s likely that you and your spouse’s lives have been entangled together for quite some time. This can complicate the process of separation, and you should consider the following factors:

  • Division of Assets: Many divorcing couples take a hit to their finances, and the older you are, the less time you have to make up for lost income. However, walking away with your fair share of the assets can put you in a better spot financially and could ensure your retirement plans stay on track.
  • Alimony: Alimony, or spousal support, is usually awarded to the spouse who’s earned less over the course of the marriage or was financially dependent on the other. If you were the main earner in the marriage, you’ll likely be asked to pay alimony, which can last up to 10 years in Kansas. Whatever side of the divorce you’re on, you want to ensure you’re getting what you deserve or paying only as much as you need to.
  • Retirement: Many married couples share a retirement account, and these can be tricky to split up. Maybe one partner has contributed more over the years, but the account has earned thousands since it was opened. It can be hard to tease apart who gets what.
  • Life Insurance: It’s likely both partners have been paying into life insurance for decades, and you’ll need to decide whether you will keep this jointly and whether the beneficiaries will change. If one spouse is left looking for their own plan, they’ll be faced with extremely high premiums since they're older. 
  • Social Security: Most Americans start receiving Social Security payments in their mid-60s, and there are clear federal rules about how marriage and divorce affect this. If you’re over the age of 62 and have been married for at least 10 years, you can legally take retirement benefits from your ex-spouse’s Social Security without affecting their payments. This can be especially beneficial if one spouse didn’t work or worked significantly less than the other during the marriage.

How Roth Davies LLC Can Help

Any divorcing couple can benefit from the guidance of a family law attorney, but especially those who are divorcing later in life. Roth Davies LLC can help you sort through the complex issues you’ll be facing and ensure you’re set up for a successful post-divorce life. Divorces happen, but they don’t have to ruin your financial future. If you live in Johnson County, call Roth Davies LLC today to book an appointment.


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