For some older couples, dissolving their marriage can be emancipating. However, seeking a divorce later in life can be complicated and may require some special considerations. As a result, getting experienced legal advice to avoid costly mistakes and navigate key decisions in your grey divorce is essential.
At Anderson, Creager and Wittstruck, P.C., L.L.O., we proudly help clients through the complex procedures involved in seeking a late-life divorce. Our knowledgeable Nebraska family law attorneys are available to discuss your unique situation, explore your possible legal options, and enlighten you about some vital considerations for late-life divorces.
Common Reasons for Divorce Later in Life
A late-life divorce—also referred to as grey divorce or silver divorce—is a divorce or marital dissolution between older couples aged 50 years and older. Some of the most common reasons for divorcing later in life include, but are not limited to, the following:
unresolved disputes and conflicts
regrets or doubts about earlier life choices
conflicts in values and life choices
lack of communication
major disagreement or betrayal
differences in lifestyle choices
life-changing experiences such as a health scare or critical illness
reduced or inadequate attention
lack of intimacy or physical touch
reluctance to accept or deal with the concerns of aging
desire to live an independent life during their later years
money or financial concerns
substance abuse, alcoholism, or other active addictions
ACW Law can help you understand some key issues about grey divorce and what to consider when filing.
What to Consider
When filing for divorce later in life, there are some crucial elements to take into consideration, such as asset division, spousal support (also known as alimony), estate planning, retirement benefits, social security benefits, tax consequences and more.
Division of Assets
Property division in decades-long marriages can be extremely complicated. Differentiating between separate property and marital property can be difficult. Similarly, older spouses can find it difficult to calculate and divide their retirement savings and assets. All these often make the division of assets in grey divorces tedious and overwhelming.
In many late-life divorces, one of the divorcing parties may require financial support during or after the divorce. However, the potential paying spouse may lack the resources and finances to pay alimony to their ex-partner. At the same time, the potential recipient spouse may be unable to learn a skill or seek a new job to become self-sustaining, usually due to advanced age.
Older couples who are thinking about grey divorce may need to consider reviewing and updating their estate plans, including wills, retirement plans, powers of attorney, advanced care directives, and beneficiaries. You may need to update your will to be consistent with your current wishes. Likewise, you may need to remove your estranged spouse as a designated beneficiary, your agent, or personal representative.
Older adults filing for divorce later in life must assess the type and rules associated with their retirement accounts. In many cases, dividing retirement benefits may not be straightforward. Depending on the conditions of your case, you may need to request a court order to divide the amount in your retirement accounts and pension plans.
Mistakes to Avoid
As you go through this process, there are certain mistakes to avoid when filing for late-life divorce that may cause issues in your case:
seeking late-life divorce without a reputable legal, financial, and support team
not identifying all marital assets
financial infidelity (hiding assets and income)
not planning for future uncertainties
ignoring filing taxes and tax consequences of your property, assets, and financial decisions
holding on to the family home
ignoring the likely impact of your medical and life insurance policies
A practiced lawyer can offer you the trusted advocacy and support you need to make well-informed decisions and achieve a seamless and hassle-free grey divorce.
Turn to a Family Law Firm You Can Trust
When divorcing later in life, getting knowledgeable legal guidance is vital to making intelligent decisions and avoiding irrevocable mistakes. At Anderson, Creager and Wittstruck, P.C., L.L.O., we are here for older couples through the challenges involved in grey divorces. Our dedicated team will work with all parties involved to resolve pending divorce issues peacefully and help you move forward.
Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with experienced family law attorneys. Our trusted lawyers can advocate for your best interests and offer the personalized advocacy you need in your late-life divorce matters. We’re proud to serve clients in Lancaster County, Cass County, Gage County, Seward County, Saline County, Otoe County, Saunders County, Sarpy County and other southeastern counties across Nebraska.