Divorce after 50: Don’t Make these 7 Mistakes (Pt. 1)
Divorce after 50 – or what some are referring to as gray divorce – is becoming increasing prominent in the U.S. In fact, according research conducted at Bowling Green University:
- Over the past 35 years, the rates of divorce among couples who are over 50 years old have more than doubled in the U.S.
- About 1 out of every 4 people going through divorce is over the age of 50.
“If late-life divorce were a disease, it would be an epidemic,” Psychologist Jay Lebow of Northwestern University has noted in relation to divorce after 50.
While this growing divorce rate among married baby boomers may be attributable to various causes (such as, for instance, longer lifespans), one thing is clear: divorce after 50 generates some unique issues – and it can come with far higher stakes, as people’s life savings and other assets they’ve worked their entire life to build can be on the line.
Taking a closer look at these issues, this blog series will point out some of the specific mistakes to avoid making in divorce after 50. If you are preparing for divorce – regardless of your age – and you need the best representation now, however, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced Las Vegas divorce lawyers at RIGHT Lawyers. We have the experience you can rely on to help you bring your divorce to a successful resolution.
Research has found that, on average, a man’s household income after divorce will fall by about 25 percent while woman’s household income after divorce will drop by more than 40 percent. Compounding this are the possibilities that, with divorce after 50:
- Either partner may have a fixed income, only receiving government benefits.
- There may still be a substantial amount of marital debt that both partners may end up being responsible for repaying.
This can, in turn, significantly complicate the financial impacts of divorce after 50, throwing people into serious debt as they struggle to cover remaining marital debt with little financial resources.
So, to avoid putting yourself in this situation, make sure you know your marital debt situation upfront. It can be a good idea to obtain a copy of your and your ex’s credit reports to fully ascertain the debt you both are facing and start developing reasonable solutions for dividing it in divorce.
A point of heated contention in many divorce cases can be the marital home. However, while fighting to retain the martial home may be a good idea for younger divorcing couples (particularly if one party wants to continue to raise the children in the marital home), in divorce after 50, fighting for the home may not end up being in your best interests.
In fact, when it comes to the home, it’s crucial to first consider whether:
- You can afford the ongoing costs and maintenance (including property taxes, emergency repairs, etc.).
- You actually want or need that much space.
- You really want to deal with selling your house at some point later.
- You are ready for a fresh start in your own new space.
- Your home will really keep its value in the coming years.
Thinking about these issues can help you determine whether it’s really worth it to fight for the marital home – or whether you may be able to use the home as a point of compromise in your upcoming divorce.
Don’t miss the upcoming second and third parts of this blog series for our continued discussion regarding the mistakes to avoid in divorce after 50.