No matter what age you are, divorce is never easy. But those who divorce when they are over 50 after spending 20 or more years together face some special hurdles. Here, from a recent article at NextAvenue.org, are five things you should know if you’re divorcing later in life:
The impact of your divorce on adult children. Older couples that have waited to part until the children were grown are often surprised to find how impactful their divorce is on their adult children. Kids who still live at home see the daily stress of a bad marriage and may even welcome a divorce, while kids that have been out of the nest for awhile are often truly distressed when their parents divorce.
The difficulty of finding a job. Women who have been out of the workforce for awhile can find looking for a job especially challenging. Before you file, consider talking with a career counselor to explore your options for employment. This can have an impact on negotiating the amount of support and property settlement. If you want to get a degree after you’re divorced, the cost of doing so could be figured into your settlement package.
The emotional upheaval. Even if you’re in a bad marriage, there is some comfort in having another person in the house and your life, especially if you have been a couple for two or more decades. Look into new hobbies or volunteer work to fill the void, and see a therapist if you continue to struggle with your emotions.
The loss of friends. Women are especially vulnerable to losing friends following a late-life divorce. If you find this happening to you, the best advice is to make new friends through joining groups of mutual interest and volunteering. Don’t rely too much on divorced friends, as everyone’s divorce is different and you may find yourself on the receiving end of some very bad advice.
The financial expense of divorce. Divorcing can be expensive, even if it is relatively free of conflict. As soon as you consider filing for divorce, talk to a divorce attorney so you can plan your exit strategy. Ask your attorney for tips on how to save money, like curtailing the impulse to call frequently, which can run up your bill. Also ask about your attorney’s billing practices and how you can help manage the expense by doing some things yourself, like gathering and organizing financial information.
When you are faced with an important life decision regarding a key family relationship, the advice and assistance of an experienced family law attorney often proves crucial to your understanding of the issues involved and your satisfaction with the ultimate outcome of your family law matter. Contact us today for your free consultation.