What are some issues older couples may face during divorce?

If you’re like many of our older readers who are over the age of 50, then you’ve probably collected a number of life events and many more stories to tell. From marriage, to your first house, to the birth of your children, a majority of what has happened to you has been life changing in some way, just as they have been for other people across the state.

But here is where the similarities between you and others in Massachusetts may end because unlike them, you might be considering something few expect someone at your age to consider: divorce. Just like marriage, divorce is a life-changing decision, especially so late in life, which is why it can also lead to an important question: what are some issues older couples may face during divorce?

Property division, especially later in life, can create issues because couples typically have considerably more assets than they did when they were first married. This could mean that it’s more difficult to differentiate between what’s his and hers, which can potentially lead to disputes when dividing assets and debts.

Late-in life divorce may also affect retirement accounts as well. If it has been awhile since you established the account, you may not know who is listed as the beneficiary or who has access to the account. Not knowing this information before a divorce could mean an unwelcomed surprise later on in the process.

The final issue we will discuss this week is your divorce timeline. How soon are you expecting the divorce process to end versus how long it will actually take? As you may already know, some divorces, especially those that are more complex, can take years before a resolution is ever reached. A lengthy divorce for someone who is over the age of 50 may be less than ideal, especially if they are in a poor health or are concerned that the divorce will not be finalized in an appropriate amount of time.

Although divorce is not impossible the older you get, waiting too long can create issues you may not have anticipated. This is where a lawyer can be incredibly useful and worth having on your side.

Source: AARP, “Life After Divorce,” Sally Abrahms, June 6, 2012