It’s becoming more and more common for folks over 50 years of age to file for divorce. Divorce after 50 is not just a trend in Texas. “Silver divorce” or “gray divorce” as the media has dubbed this phenomenon, are on the rise nationwide, even as the divorce rate for younger age groups has plateaued or fallen. That said, the divorce rate for “seniors” was less than half that of folks under 50.
Why are couples in their 50s, 60s, and even 70s choosing divorce? Many people assume it’s the empty nest syndrome. Couples who have stayed together because of the children can now part ways because the kids have left home. But that’s not exactly true. Often, it’s because they want more from life than a not-very-good marriage.
Divorce became much more acceptable and available during the lifetime of Baby Boomers, so a significant number of those seeking divorce after 50 are leaving a second or third marriage. People are more likely to leave subsequent marriages than a first marriage. Additionally, people in a subsequent marriage are more likely to leave a marriage of shorter duration. Perhaps those who have divorced are less willing to accept a bad situation or less afraid of taking action.
Those in subsequent marriages are more likely to have a prenuptial agreement, especially if they have significant assets or business interests. A prenup can make your Texas divorce easier and our Frisco divorce attorneys can help you through the process with a minimum of time and expense.
But there are also instances in which a prenuptial agreement can be unfair to the point of being invalid. If one partner failed to disclose assets at the time of the original agreement, or if one partner was pressured into signing the agreement under duress, there may be reason to contest a prenup.
In a silver divorce situation, it’s not unusual for one partner to have been out of the workforce or to have made career sacrifices for their children or spouse. Although spousal support is less common than it used to be, divorce court judges do still order alimony when its needed and appropriate.
Health issues can be another consideration for those divorcing after 50. A disabled spouse under retirement age may be concerned about eligibility for needs-based government benefits. In order to qualify for benefits like Medicaid, you may need to protect the marital assets that will come to the disabled partner in marital property division. A Special Needs Trust may be one answer. Be sure to talk with your divorce lawyer about your concerns for healthcare and benefit eligibility.
A spouse is eligible for Social Security benefits based on an ex-spouse’s work record if the couple was married for at least 10 years, the spouse is single, and is at least 62 years of age. If you have questions about your eligibility for benefits, or whether your ex-spouse’s claim on your Social Security benefits will have any impact on your benefits, we can explain this in detail.
Couples divorcing later in life will need to divide retirement accounts and pension plans, as well as marital assets. Both parties have a claim on each other’s retirement accounts. It’s important that this division is done properly in order to minimize any tax consequences.
At Albin Oldner Law, PLLC our Frisco divorce lawyers are here to help you through the process of filing for divorce after 50. We are a cost-conscious law firm, always working to save our clients from unnecessary expenses and attorneys’ fees. You can have confidence that we will present you with affordable options for resolving the issues of your divorce, including divorce mediation.