If you are thinking about divorce after 50 (a so-called “gray divorce”), there are some unique issues you need to consider that may impact your quality of life moving forward. Whether you are making big decisions about your retirement planning or making long term healthcare decisions, getting a divorce after 50 requires careful consideration of long term issues. Here are some particular items that you need to discuss with your attorney when you are planning a divorce after 50.
Part of any divorce requires a thorough examination of all assets and debts. If you have any commitments to your adult children, you must include those commitments as part of the financial accounting for the court.
Examples of financial commitments include college expenses or a long-time promise to pay for a child’s wedding. You may also have intended to leave an inheritance for your adult children. A divorce may entail making changes in your will to ensure that your children and their families will receive your inheritance versus it ending up in the hands of your ex’s new spouse.
This doesn’t mean everything is sacred when it comes to the children. A responsible attorney acting in your best interests will have your future financial stability as a top priority. You may need to make some hard decisions when it comes to financial support for your adult children.
Consider these average potential costs for eldercare:
You may have been counting on your significant other to provide some care for you in your golden years. In the aftermath of a divorce, it’s essential to rethink who will be responsible for your care and how you are going to pay for it.
Your attorney can refer you to a financial advisor who can help with long-term care insurance options as well as planning for long-term healthcare expenses. Many couples getting divorced after 50 don’t take into account the added costs of eldercare. Don’t get caught surprised. Make sure this gets addressed in court.
As soon as you are aware that you will be getting a gray divorce, you need to talk to your estate planner and look at the terms of your will. If anything happens to you during the divorce, you want to make sure that everything will proceed as you intended.
If you die during the divorce, your spouse still can lay claim to your estate. Make sure that your will reflects your desire to leave your assets to your children.
Also, if you have any advance directives or healthcare power of attorney, make sure those agreements are also updated. Unless you do so, if anything major happens to you before the divorce is finalized, it could be your soon-to-be ex-spouse making decisions on your behalf.
There’s no doubt that special issues will arise in a gray divorce. You need an experienced attorney to help you navigate the situation so that you don’t get burned later on down the road. The stakes are too high, given how close people are to retirement age or a potential infirmity situation.
If you’re in the Atlanta metro area, particularly Henry, Clayton, or Fayette counties, Family Matters Law Group can help you with a divorce after 50. Call or use our convenient online contact form to set up an initial consultation. You deserve to live the life you want after 50. Let us fight to preserve your quality of life and take care of you and your family.