Couples who divorce after a long marriage often split up for the same reasons that younger couples do. Things like infidelity, money troubles, regrets about past decisions, or even because they simply no longer get along together often lead to divorce for people over 50.
As couples age, health issues, depression caused by the loss of parents and friends, and even the realness of suddenly finding themselves spending too much time spent together after retirement can put an extra strain on a marriage leading on party to decide to end the marriage. While the divorce process is the same for both the young and the old, there are some additional challenges that you could face when you choose to divorce later in life:
Division of Assets
Most couples understand that major assets, such as a couple’s marital home will come into play as an asset during a divorce, but the realization that other assets that were built up during the course of a marriage may also have to be divided often comes as a big shock.
As an example, a spouse’s pension or retirement account is usually considered a major asset. While the spouse that worked hard to earn the pension may consider it an asset that is theirs and theirs alone, the reality is that because of the marital dissolution by divorce, the pension is now an asset that is subject to division. When you are facing the possibility of a dividing a pension or retirement account close to retirement age, how the asset is divided can pose a greater financial challenge.
Sharing of Liabilities
In addition to sharing the assets that a couple has accumulated during their marriage, they also have to share the debt.
When couples know what liabilities they both have like the mortgage on their house, car payments, or joint credit cards, dividing the debts in a divorce may not be a problem. A large debt only in your spouse’s name though may pose a different problem. Many people do not realize debts only in the name of one spouse may have to be divided up as well. Most debt is marital debt, regardless of which spouse’s name the debt is in. If a spouse engaged in misconduct, like gambling or used the debt for some purpose other than marital expenses, we can argue against dividing the debt.
Why You Need Your Own Representation
Many couples who decide to divorce after twenty or thirty years of marriage genuinely love and care for each other, even though they no longer wish to remain married. They often believe that they can work through the various issues of their divorce by working together and may initially think that only one side needs representation.
While it may seem honorable to initially let one spouse handle everything, the challenge comes in when it becomes apparent that one spouse is not on the same page as the other.
John in Woodstock discovered this for himself after the attorney his wife hired began asking for more and more information that John was uncomfortable providing. After 40+ years of marriage, he initially wanted to do the right thing, but began to have concerns as the process went along.
After calling several other attorneys who wanted payment for a consultation up front, John called Speights Law and spoke with Amanda. He recalls the feeling of relief he had after speaking with her and how impressed he was that even though it was a free consultation, she actually took the time to listen.
John states that Speights Law worked hard to help him through a difficult time and credits them for helping him overcome what was initially an overwhelming experience.
He stresses that by having his own attorney, it kept the divorce process fair. John is grateful he chose to have them in his corner, and he did not try to go it alone.
Do You Need a Woodstock Divorce Attorney?
Divorcing later in life has its own unique challenges. Speights Law provides the comfort and trust that you need when you’re facing one of the most difficult times in your life.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation. We can be reached at (770) 479-1500.
Amanda Speights is a co-founder and lead family law attorney at Speights Law, PC in Cherokee County. She is an experienced family law lawyer who handles an assortment of domestic cases, including divorce, child custody, child support, appeals and other types of litigation in the state of Georgia.