Divorce Over Age 50

Divorce Over Age 50

Increasingly, older Americans are divorcing for the first time in their lives. In fact, the number of people over 50 who are divorcing has doubled since 1990. Divorcing over the age of 50 is called “silver divorce” or “grey divorce,” and there are many special considerations when divorcing at an older age.

Consider How the Divorce Will Affect Your Children

There is an assumption that adult children will be less impacted by divorce than young children, but this is far from true. Many adult children struggle with the end of a marriage that has spanned their entire lives. Also, your children might be married, and they might begin wondering whether their own marriage will end in divorce one day.

In order to help them through this, you can be honest about why your marriage failed. Remind them that your marriage is not their marriage. You should also be clear that you and your spouse will both be in their lives. In fact, you will still see your ex, especially if you have grandchildren, so maintaining an amicable relationship is key.

Find Health Insurance

This is another concern that too few people consider as they approach divorce. You will not be able to stay on your ex-spouse’s health insurance after divorce, so you should make sure that you have something lined up. If you are 65 or older, you should qualify for Medicare. However, if not, you will need to purchase individual health insurance, which might be far more expensive than you imagine.

Determine Which Assets You Want

As part of the divorce, a judge will need to divide your marital assets. These are assets you accumulated while married, but typically do not include property you brought into the marriage or anything you inherited individually while married.

Because you are older, you should think carefully about what assets you want. Do you really want the family home, especially if there is a mortgage? How close are you to retirement? If you do not see yourself working for another 10 years, you probably do not want an asset for which you still need to pay.

Consider Asking for Alimony

Since you are older, you have less time to build up assets for your retirement, even if you take on a lot of overtime or get a second job. This means you will need to get as many assets out of the divorce as you can. Remember that it is more expensive to maintain a single household than it is to share expenses with someone else.

Although you can ask for a large share of marital property, you might also consider asking for alimony if you make substantially less than your spouse. In North Carolina, a judge will look at many factors when determining alimony, such as each spouse’s earning capacity, the standard of living during the marriage, and any marital fault.

Considering Divorce? Contact Us Today

Divorce after several decades of marriage is a complicated process. You need an experienced attorney to help you navigate the process and make sure that you are protected for the future.

At Hodges Coxe Potter & Phillips, our divorce attorneys can advise you about your rights. Please reach out to us today. You can call 910-772-1678 or submit an online message.