Divorces for couples over the age of 50 have skyrocketed over the past 30 years. In 1990, only one out of every 10 divorces involved older spouses, but today 25% of baby boomer couples choose to end their marriages, and that rate could soon double.
Dissolving a marriage later in life can be especially challenging, emotionally and financially, for both spouses. Embarking on a new life after years of sharing love, pain, children and grandchildren is difficult, while the economic side of living on your own can create more stress and uncertainty.
What are some common issues for divorce after 50?
When dividing marital assets, it’s important to understand these four challenges:
- Social Security and retirement benefits: Social Security records must be examined to determine the amount each spouse is entitled to receive. If one spouse’s earnings were significantly higher than the other, generally the money accumulated only during the time of the marriage will be split equally. The same is usually true for pensions and other private retirement plans.
- Dividing assets: Connecticut is an equitable distribution state. That means assets owned by both spouses are “equitably” distributed, which doesn’t mean they will be equally split. Judges ultimately decide how marital assets are divided, and property acquired before a marriage is usually not included.
- Health insurance: After a divorce is finalized, health insurance provided by a spouse’s employer is terminated for their ex-partner. If the unemployed spouse is not old enough for Medicare coverage, it can present an enormous financial challenge.
- Adult children: Grey divorces can sometimes force adult children to take sides or attempt to save their parents’ marriage, which usually fails. Divorced parents may also need to lean on their children for financial or emotional support. This can be overwhelming for children, many who are just getting by on their own or struggling to provide for their own families.
Compassionate legal advice can help address these issues
Divorce can be an emotionally and financially complicated time, especially for those who end their marriages after many years together. However, some people see it as a positive step for a second chance for a new and improved life. An experienced divorce attorney here in Connecticut can help you understand the legal process, protect your rights and help you receive a fair settlement, or represent your interests in court, if necessary.