Divorce after 50 is often called “gray divorce,” and it’s the only type of divorce that’s on the rise. This could be because people have longer retirements to look forward to and realize they don’t have to stay in an unhappy marriage all that time. It could also be that couples married for 25 years or longer have more time to naturally drift apart. Whatever the cause of gray divorces, know you’re not alone if you’re considering one.
I’ve seen many gray divorces go smoothly, with both spouses ending up satisfied with the outcome. I’ve also seen very contentious gray divorces with less-than-desirable outcome. The latter generally occurs when a client makes one or more very easily avoidable mistakes.
The first major mistake you could make in this situation is not hiring an Edina gray divorce attorney. You need to work with someone who has experience with older, more financially established clients. There are unique components to a gray divorce, so try to find an Edina family law firm whose attorneys have adequate experience.
Here are four more mistakes to avoid making as you begin the process of divorcing after 50.
Making Assumptions About How Long the Divorce Will Take
Every divorce is different, and the unique aspects of a divorce after 50 mean it can be difficult to know how long the process will take. Don’t make the mistake of assuming it will go quickly when issues could arise midway through the process to derail those plans. Similarly, you don’t want to drag out the divorce longer than is necessary. You may not have as many earning years left as younger couples that are splitting up, so it’s important to find an Edina divorce law lawyer who will move swiftly through the process and let you get on with the next phase of your life.
Getting Hung Up on the House
Your home may be the biggest financial asset you share with your spouse. This can be tricky to navigate because of the sentimental value the home may hold to one or both spouses. In addition, it is an asset that can fluctuate in value considerably over a short period of time.
It’s natural to stress about what will happen with your home as a result of the divorce, but you should try not to lose sight of the forest for the trees. It’s very likely that you have other assets that will have a positive impact on your long-term finances and overall happiness; even if you give up your home in the divorce, you’ll have the opportunity to live in another great home down the road. And if you’re just not willing to give up your house, a good Edina divorce planning attorney will help you fight to stay in the home. Just know that you do have several options.
Not Considering Your Financial Future into Retirement
When you divorce later in life you have less earning years remaining before retirement (or you may be getting a divorce after retirement). Since personal finances often take a hit during divorce, a gray divorce sometimes means you won’t have quite as long to build back up your savings, retirement accounts, and other assets. If you want to take care of yourself financially well into retirement, you must consider these possibilities during your divorce. An attorney can help you advocate for an equitable divorce settlement that won’t leave you disadvantaged as you prepare to retire or plan to continue your retirement.
Resisting Inevitable Changes
It can be extremely overwhelming to go through a divorce after 50. You are about to encounter a significant change to the life you’ve been familiar with for years or decades. For some people, this change may not be welcomed; their spouse may have decided for them that the marriage should end. A divorce can also change your finances, making it necessary to reevaluate things like your budget and long-term savings goals.
Whatever your situation, try to see the silver lining. The changes that come with a divorce after 50 are numerous and unavoidable, but they will ultimately allow you to lead a happier life down the line. Now is the perfect time to evaluate what you want out of the remaining years in your career, your social life, and your retirement. You can set new financial goals and derive a great deal of purpose from working toward them.
So, are you ready to find an Edina gray divorce attorney and get started on the next phase of your life? You can get started here.