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Considerations When Divorcing Later in Life

E. Noreen Banks-Ware March 30, 2022

Couples who chose to get married in their twenties or thirties may discover at some point in their fifties or sixties that their marriage no longer fulfills them in one way or another. Pursuing a “silver divorce” is becoming increasingly common among older couples.

It is natural for priorities and preferences to change over the years. After retirement, our bodies change, our daily life changes, and our personalities continue to change. Sometimes, these changes lead us to recognize that it is time for a marriage to end.

Whether you have already thought deeply about divorce or you are just beginning to consider it, Noreen Banks-Ware can help you understand how divorce will affect your later years. With over 30 years of experience guiding families through tough times, she has the knowledge and skills to help you through this process. E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC proudly represents clients in Lithonia, Georgia, as well as Decatur, Conyers, Covington, McDonough, and Lawrenceville.

Common Reasons People Divorce Later in Life

When a couple divorces in their fifties or sixties, the reasons are usually quite different from younger couples. Sometimes, once the children have left home, the couple realizes that they were staying together to parent and not for the sake of the marriage.

In other situations, life after retirement reveals issues in the marriage that weren’t there before. Spending habits and differences in lifestyle choices may prove to be irreconcilable. One spouse may want to spend their silver years going out dancing and trying new things, while the other spouse is content to stay at home and lead a quiet life. The reality may be that after many years of marriage, the couple has simply grown apart.

Considerations When Divorcing

Because those divorcing later in life typically have more assets than younger couples, there are more financial considerations to take into account in a silver divorce.

Division of Assets

After many years together, you most likely own several major assets together, such as your home and vehicles, as well as other financial assets, such as savings accounts or retirement accounts. Dividing these assets during a divorce can be extremely complex and sensitive. Speak with an experienced family law attorney to learn more about how the division of assets works in a divorce that is later in life.

Alimony

If only one spouse worked during the marriage, the other spouse’s earning potential after the divorce will be either low or nonexistent. Even if both spouses worked during the entirety of the marriage, it is possible that one spouse may need alimony to survive financially after a silver divorce. Alimony can be complex at this stage in life, and it may prove to be extremely necessary for one spouse.

Retirement

The division of retirement accounts can also be very complicated. Taxes may need to be paid, and it is important to consider survivor benefits if the spouse who is the primary holder of the retirement account passes away. Consult with an experienced family law attorney to learn more about the division of retirement plans in a silver divorce.

Life Insurance

In many situations, the spouse who pays alimony must also carry a life insurance policy. This is so that the spouse who is the recipient of the alimony would not be left without this essential financial support if the spouse who is paying alimony passes away.

Social Security

It can be difficult to know if divorcing spouses should take their own Social Security benefits or draw off of their spouse’s. Before you agree to a financial settlement, seek advice from an attorney about which decision would be best in your situation.

How Noreen Banks-Ware Can Help

After decades of marriage and acquiring assets together, a silver divorce can present unique and complex issues when it comes to the division of assets and more. With her 30 years of experience, Noreen Banks-Ware knows how to navigate these sensitive issues and the legalities they raise. She is proud to represent clients in Lithonia, Georgia, as well Decatur, Conyers, Covington, McDonough, and Lawrenceville. Contact E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC for a consultation today.