While the overall divorce rate has dropped nominally over the past two decades, the incidence of divorce among couples over the age of 50 has nearly doubled. Unlike their younger counterparts, people getting divorced after 50 are more likely to have been married for years, making the financial and emotional entanglement that much more difficult to dissolve.
Couples that have been married for a long time often own a house and have children together. Kids who are grown and no longer live at home can still be heavily affected by the breaking up of their family, but the way you conduct yourself throughout the process can lessen the pain.
The decision to separate from your spouse after many years of marriage is generally not an easy one, and before you do so, it’s important to understand what changes to expect when you get divorced in your 50’s or older.
What changes to expect
Regardless of your age, you’re generally going to incur increased expenses once you’re living alone. If covered under your spouse’s health insurance plan, you will need to procure your own insurance, which usually equates to a jump up in monthly expenses.
Debt is another factor that looms larger in a divorce between older couples. It’s recommended to get a credit report to ensure you’re aware of any outstanding credit card balances or other debts belonging to you and your spouse. In community property states, those debts are the responsibility of both partners.
When making all financial decisions, like assigning ownership of assets or liquidating and splitting IRA accounts, take into account the effect these decisions will have on your taxes. Depending on your age at the time of your divorce, you may incur large penalties for early withdrawals from retirement accounts.
Getting divorced after 50 can be more complicated than it would be if you were younger. It may have been some years since you endured changes to your living situation, which can leave your feeling disrupted. Other lifestyle changes you may need to make, such as going back to work and learning to be single again, can also take time and energy.
Getting divorced can be overwhelming, but you can make things easier by choosing mediation rather than litigation. Instead of the time, expense, and emotional toll of arguing your case in court, a mediator works with you, your spouse and your divorce attorneys to achieve a fair and peaceful resolution outside the courtroom.
If you’re looking for divorce mediation attorneys in San Diego, schedule a consultation with JWB Family Law. Our attorneys have years of experience helping our clients to get through the divorce process as easily as possible.
The Importance of the CFLS Designation
A Certified Family Law Specialist, or CFLS, is an attorney who has obtained certification in the standards of California family law and demonstrated optimal legal competence. Attorneys who obtain this certification have specific expertise in all aspects of family law, which includes divorce or the dissolution of marriage, child and spousal support, child custody, and temporary restraining orders, among other areas of emphasis.
Not every attorney practicing family law has obtained this certification. In fact, the designation remains relatively rare—there are fewer than 2,000 CFLS attorneys in California and fewer than 200 in San Diego.