Studies show that the number of people divorcing in their 50s or later will likely increase over the next several years. There are many reasons couples get divorced, and the timing is different in each case. While a divorce is typically the same regardless of the age of the parties, there are a few notable differences when the parties are over the age of 50. There are often no minor-age children involved. Thus, there are typically no custody hearings that delay or complicate the process.
Some divorces after age 50 involve retired couples, giving them access to retirement funds. Spousal maintenance is often an issue in this type of divorce, especially if one party was a stay at home parent during the marriage. Keep reading to learn about the different aspects of divorce after age 50.
Determining Spousal Maintenance
As noted above, spousal maintenance is usually contentious in most divorces that occur after age 50. One spouse may require spousal maintenance to continue living at the marital standard of living. The other spouse, however, may be nearing retirement age and not able or willing to pay substantial maintenance.
Parties are free to come to their own agreement regarding the length and amount of spousal maintenance. If parties can’t agree, the court will make a determination. The court will consider a number of factors. This will include the need of the spouse requesting maintenance, the ability of the other spouse to pay maintenance, the length of the marriage, and career sacrifices that may have been made by the requesting spouse.
Dividing Marital and Non-Marital Property
In addition to spousal maintenance, another common challenge in most divorces is dividing marital property. However, the first challenge is determining which property is marital and which is not. This may be more difficult in a long term marriage, which is often the case in divorces where the parties are over the age of 50.
Marital property is any property acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title. For instance, a piece of land may be marital property even if it’s registered under the one party’s name.
There are certain circumstances where a property is non-marital even though the person acquired it during the marriage. The most common example of this is inherited property, which is generally not marital. There are exceptions that make non-marital property marital, so be sure to contact an experienced family law attorney to analyze any of your non-marital claims.
Qualifying for Social Security Benefits
Social security benefits are the monetary benefits one gets after retirement. These benefits will help individuals with expenses during retirement, but the amount typically isn’t sufficient to replace a paycheck.
Social security benefits may be affected upon divorce. Contact an experienced family law attorney to learn about how your social security benefits could be affected after a divorce.
Distributing the Pension Benefits and Retirement Accounts
Retirement accounts and pension accounts are significant factors in a person’s choice to retire, so dividing them can be challenging. For some people, their retirement assets may be all they have to live on. If you are looking to divide retirement in a divorce, contact an experienced family law attorney to ensure your financial interests are protected.
If both parties have been married for a long time, it is hard to identify the distributable pension benefits and retirement accounts. Additionally, some parties may be reluctant to share their pension benefits for spousal maintenance, thus complicating the divorce process and requiring court involvement.
Hire a Qualified Divorce Attorney Today
An experienced divorce lawyer can help individuals overcome all of the challenges of a divorce, regardless of the age of the parties involved. An attorney will provide representation during the proceedings to ensure an equitable division of the marital property and reasonable distribution of spousal maintenance and other agreements.
The lawyers at M. Sue Wilson Law Offices have experience with all types of divorce cases. Our divorce attorneys work closely with our clients to understand their situation and advise them on how to proceed.
Furthermore, since we understand that divorces are sensitive, we will always maintain discretion. Ultimately, both parties can be certain that we will handle the divorce calmly and effectively.
If you need representation in your divorce, don’t hesitate to contact M. Sue Wilson Law Offices today to schedule a consultation. We can assist with all aspects of your case, from asset division to spousal maintenance and everything in between.This article contains general legal information and does not provide legal advice. For legal advice, please contact M. Sue Wilson Law Offices directly.