Retirement is finally a time to relax; at least that is the idea. An unhappy marriage induces stress, especially when parents can no longer focus on raising their children. Retired couples spend more time together than they ever have before. A growing number of aging adults refuse the prospect of being in an unhappy marriage when retirement arrives.
In the past, people usually divorced in their 40s or early 50s. More couples are choosing gray divorce, or divorce after age 50. In fact, gray divorce has increased by 64 percent. There are many reasons why the divorce rate is growing for older couples, one being the increasing longevity of life. One in three men and one in two women will live to age 90. A longer life means couples must divorce or choose to live decades longer in an unhappy relationship.
Interests in divorce differ by age. Younger couples may be more worried about child custody and child support. Gray divorce involves different types of concerns. Some top concerns for mature couples considering divorce include:
- Retirement accounts
- Mortgages and property
Mature couples also worry that divorce litigation can be costly and emotionally exhausting. Some people dip into their retirement accounts to pay for divorce. As discussed in a previous blog post, this can lead to lost retirement funds and damaging tax consequences. Fortunately, divorce is possible without financial disaster.
Divorce does not need to be a disaster
An experienced family law attorney can help protect finances and retirement accounts in divorce. An attorney can help minimize tax consequences and address concerns such as division of assets. Additionally, it is possible to save an extensive amount of time and money with an amicable divorce. Matters can be settled peacefully, reducing conflict and the cost of litigation. An amicable divorce means that spouses agree on the terms of the divorce. This can be achieved using one of three methods:
- Uncontested divorce
- Negotiated divorce
- Collaborative law
An uncontested or negotiated divorce can be handled by a family law attorney. Mediation must be handled by a certified mediator and collaborative law must be facilitated by a certified collaborative lawyer. These options give older couples an alternative to the public nature of courtroom litigation. Amicable divorce can be settled using private and peaceful measures.