Ekker Law, P.C. / Steven B. Ekker, Esq.

Divorce Considerations for Older Adults

 Posted on August 31, 2022 in Divorce

Kane County Spousal Support LawyerIf you are an older adult getting divorced, you may notice a lack of legal resources geared towards your needs. Quite a bit of divorce law involves things like child custody, which probably do not apply to you. You have a different set of needs entirely. You are probably thinking about things like your retirement funds and maintaining benefits eligibility. A lot also depends on how long you have been married to your current spouse. This blog will focus on considerations for long-married older spouses, while the next will focus on concerns for those ending a later-in-life marriage

One advantage of getting divorced while you are this age is that both of you are likely to be a bit more mature and patient than the typical thirtysomethings in divorce court. Collaborative divorce strategies may work well for you. It is also important to find an attorney who understands your specific needs

Divorce Considerations for Long-Married Older Adults

Divorcing someone you married as a young adult while you are an older adult can be a major life change for both of you. Especially if you were in a traditional marriage, where one of you worked and one of you stayed home, untangling your finances can be challenging. A few concerns you may want to take into consideration include: 

  • Splitting a retirement account - One or both of you is likely to be reliant on retirement savings and social security benefits in the near future if you are not already. If only one spouse worked during the marriage, the nonworking spouse is entitled to their share of it. It would be unconscionable to leave a homemaking spouse with nothing, especially when they are not likely able to start a new career. You will need to consider how this divide will affect your lifestyle

  • Alimony - The longer the marriage, the longer the duration that a court can order the working spouse to pay spousal maintenance. Quite a few factors come into consideration, including the receiving spouse’s ability to start earning money to support themselves. If your spouse is your age, it is less likely that they will be able to break into a career. Retirement matters–you cannot pay money that you are not earning. However, you also cannot retire early specifically to avoid paying support

  • Separate and property - Think of the possessions you had to your name when you got married. How many of them do you still have? If you have been married for decades, probably not much. The longer a couple stays married, the more marital property they generally have to divide

  • Benefits - Some benefits you rely on may be impacted by divorce, if benefits or eligibility is based on a formula that considers single adults and married couples separately

These are just a few of the issues you will need to discuss with your lawyer.  



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