|My age:||I'm 47 years old|
By Joe Dillon, Divorce Mediator. If you're an older couple divorcing after a long-term marriage, it's referred to as a gray divorce or late life divorce. In a gray divorce, there are a of critical issues you need to be aware of so your divorce doesn't go sideways. If you don't want to waste money or time on your divorce, or add stress to your life, here's what to do to get the best result.
While the overall divorce rate has flattened for most age groups, there is one segment of the population where divorce rates are actually increasing - older Americans in long-term marriages. Certainly divorce is difficult no matter how long you've been married or how old you are. But if you're older adults divorcing after a long term marriage, there's a whole lot you need to know - and watch out for! When the term was first coined, it referred to men and women Divorced at 50 starting over divorced after 40 years or more of marriage. The assumption was that anyone married for that long must be an older adult "starting to gray," hence the name.
But these days, it's more commonly used to refer to the divorce wave among baby boomers, regardless of the length of their marriage or the color of their hair.
8 grey divorce reasons:
As a point of reference, most of our clients falling into this category have been married between 20 and 30 years. Over the past 20 years, the divorce rate in the United States has actually declined. But for the over age group, the gray divorce rate has actually doubled. Brown and I-Fen Lin. In my experience, there are 8 reasons for the rising divorce rate in middle age or older spouses and none have anything to do with being a baby boomer.
What is a gray divorce?
Some couples can pinpoint the exact cause of the demise of the marriage. But in a grey divorce, there was no infidelity and no major blowout that led to the decision to get divorced. Instead, the spouses have simply grown apart over time. You've spent the better part of your marriage raising kids and now you've found yourself without to focus on. Leaving only your spouse. And suddenly you find yourself uncomfortable being around "this person," you no longer know.
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Perhaps so busy that they don't notice they are growing farther apart with each passing year. But now that one or both are of retirement age, they have a lot more time on their hands and again, realize they no longer know their husband or wife. If you and your spouse are seeking a gray divorce because you've grown apart, consider Divorced at 50 starting over divorce mediation. In my experience, couples who fall into this category are low-conflict and are able to successfully work together to come to an agreement in a fair and cost-effective manner.
We've all got one or maybe more of those friends who every time we ask them how they are, they launch into:. I get it - aging stinks. But being around someone who acts old can make us feel old. So for some, when they see their husband or wife aging or repeatedly hear them complaining and being negativeit can be an unwelcome reminder that they're getting older, too.
So perhaps they think if they divorced their spouse for someone younger, it will reverse time for them as well. Mediation requires both parties to actively participate in gathering discovery, completing forms and worksheets the "pre-work" and working together to negotiate the terms of their agreement.
After so many years of of looking, dressing or feeling the same way, some people want to make changes to the way they are living their life lose weight, exercise, improve their appearance. But in order to do that, they need a spark lit under them to get them motivated to make their desired changes.
And that's where interest in a new "special someone" comes into play. Sometimes people think meeting or pursuing someone new will make them try harder in life, lose weight, dress better, etc.
Again in this case, mediation can work, but really depends on the emotional state of your current spouse. There may be a lot of hurt feelings and resentment because you're leaving the marriage for someone else.
And your spouse may not be in a "sit down together and work through the terms of the divorce or legal separation as adults" frame of mind. When couples are in their prime earning years, a lot of financial missteps can be overlooked.
Adult children of divorce
Because the money keeps flowing in, the bills somehow get "taken care of" and the overspending spouse is ignorant to the couple's precarious financial situation. But once the income stream Divorced at 50 starting over and the couple is forced to live on a fixed income, pension plan or other retirement benefits, it can be quite sobering. Differences in spending habits become abundantly clear. And may lead to one spouse wanting to get divorced. Mediation is ideal in situations like this. Especially if you work with a divorce mediator who has a financial background. For example, if you mediate your divorce with me, we'll work together to prepare and review a series of budgets that show what your marital spending looked like and what your projected separate spending will look like post-divorce.
This approach is quite effective in helping the "spendthrift spouse" understand that things need to change, as in my experience, s don't lie. And an added benefit is that mediation is far more cost-effective than a traditional attorney-driven divorce.
As spouses get older, their sexual appetites may differ, sometimes dramatically.
Regardless of what you see on those commercials touting the latest ED drugs. Divorce mediation can work in these situations, but only if your spouse is not so apathetic that they do not have the motivation to actively participate in the process. According to data compiled by the Social Security Administration as of For couples seeking a grey divorce, it's quite possible each spouse could live another 30, 40 even 50 years.
So one thinks, "Why spend the time I have left on this earth miserable in an unhappy marriage? Once again leading them to want to divorce their wife or husband. Mediation will be a viable option, but only if their spouse is willing to actively participate in the process.
The real reason for divorce at midlife
Being the good son or daughter, you did the "right" thing and married the person you were "supposed to. Thing is, they weren't necessarily the person you wanted to marry. And now here you are, stuck in a long-term marriage, filled with regret as you reflect back on your life. You've now decided after all these years that being unhappily married is no longer Divorced at 50 starting over to you. Many of our clients fall into this category and in these cases, it's usually not a surprise that a change in marital status is coming as both spouses have been unhappy for a very long time.
By the time they decide to divorce, the fighting has subsided and they're both in the camp of simply wanting to move forward separately with their lives.
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That's why mediation is ideal for situations like this. When one of you wants an active retirement and one if you refers to it as "re-tired-ment," you've got a real problem. Because one of you wants to get out there and live it up, and the other has no interest. Half of the time, the passive party simply wants nothing to do with the divorce. And places the burden of getting a divorce on the active spouse. And since mediation requires two parties to actively participate, if this is your situation, mediation won't likely be a viable option for you.
But, there are passive spouses who fall into the "whatever you want" camp and will go along and work Divorced at 50 starting over you. So if this is your situation, don't rule out mediation for your no-fault divorce just yet. Now that I've shared the common gray divorce reasons, let's take a closer look as to why I feel mediation is the best way to divorce later in life if you're an older person. If you're like most men and women divorcing after a long-term marriage, you're in your late 50's to early 60's and may be out of the work force or will be soon. So if you spend a ton of money on your divorce, you won't have a lot of time to recover financially and protect your retirement fund the Divorced at 50 starting over a younger couple might.
Given where you are in life, I'd imagine you'd rather fund your own retirement instead of your family law attorney's!
But the simple fact is when attorneys are involved, the divorce Divorced at 50 starting over is not only more expensive, but can take a very long time. The average length of a mediated divorce is only 4 to 5 months from start to finish. Do you really want to spend your life in a courtroom or divorce attorney's conference room wasting years hashing out alimony also known as spousal support, maintenance or spousal maintenance, depending on where you livedivision of marital property and other details of your divorce?
Or would you rather get through this painful chapter in your life and spend the time you have left living? Even if you're the initiator, divorce is one of the most stressful events you will ever have to endure in your life.
8 grey divorce reasons:
Second only to the death of a parent or loved-one. So why then would you choose to involve divorce attorneys and pile even more stress on to an already unpleasant situation? A litigated divorce process using divorce lawyers is the epitome of stress vs. Preparing for a Gray Divorce? If you want to keep it peaceful, get our Gray Divorce Kit! No matter why you're seeking a divorce later in life, the fact is the longer the couple's marriage lasted, the more complex the issues surrounding their divorce will be.
Here are 7 critical gray divorce issues and financial challenges that - if you're not careful - can really de-rail your divorce:. Chances Divorced at 50 starting over the person paying alimony is late in their career. And their compensation is far more complex than when they first started out. So when determining an amount of alimony in a long-term marriage, the total compensation a spouse receives needs to be taken into.
In New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, and 36 other states, dividing a couple's marital assets and liabilities falls under the concept of equitable distribution. While in California, Washington, and seven others, the concepts of community property are applied. Say you live in an equitable distribution state, you're 63, got married at 36 and have this k retirement plan that you've been contributing to since you were Do you really have the statements from the day you got married to know what it's pre-marital value is?
Or you live in Divorced at 50 starting over community property state and have owned a baseball card collection from before you were married which has appreciated ificantly over the years. Can you prove this is separate property and shouldn't be included in the division of your marital assets and liabilities?
Because you could be giving away pre-marital property or separate assets your soon-to-be ex-spouse is not entitled to. Inheritances are considered "separate property" and are typically not subject to distribution in a divorce. But they can most certainly have a tremendous impact on your divorce settlement and finances.