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Divorcing Later in Life

Jeffers Law Office July 22, 2022

Divorce can be challenging and overwhelming at any age. However, the number of divorce-related issues can increase when ending a marriage later in life. Divorcing later in life is often referred to as a gray or silver divorce.

Since going through a late-life divorce can trigger a wide range of financial, emotional, and legal challenges, couples may need to seek guidance from an experienced divorce attorney in Kansas to ensure that they know what to expect and can avoid mistakes when divorcing later in life.

From his office in Overland Park, Kansas, the family law attorney at Jeffers Law Office assists clients with gray divorces throughout Johnson County, including Lenexa, Prairie Village, Shawnee, Leawood, Olathe, and neighboring municipalities.

Common Reasons People Divorce Later in Life

The decision to end a long-term marriage never comes easy. Nonetheless, many people over the age of 50 may decide to get a divorce for a variety of reasons. Common reasons for divorcing later in life include:

  • Infidelity. While many people might think that unfaithfulness is something that happens primarily with younger couples, it can also become an issue for spouses who have been married for 30, 40, 50, or more years.

  • Money issues. Financial problems are also a common driving force behind gray divorces. The likelihood of divorce is higher when spouses have been fighting about money for years.

  • Lack of communication or affection. Some couples have a hard time maintaining the same level of affection and communication as they get older, which can become a reason for divorce later in life.

  • Empty nest. Older couples are more likely to consider ending their marriage when their children grow up and leave home, especially if the spouses neglected their marriage and stayed married for the sake of raising the kids.

  • Unresolved issues. When married couples fail to resolve their disagreements and issues, those issues can accumulate and turn into a time bomb. Eventually, those unresolved issues may trigger a divorce.

If you are considering a late-life divorce, you might want to get assistance from a skilled divorce law attorney to help you tackle some of the complex issues that may arise when divorcing later in life.

Things to Consider in a Late-Life Divorce

There are certain considerations when divorcing later in life:

  1. Alimony. It’s fairly common for alimony to be awarded to one spouse when couples end a long-term marriage.

  2. Retirement. Retirement savings can be split between the spouses in a late-life divorce.

  3. Division of assets. When a marriage falls apart later in life, dividing the family home and other marital assets can become more complicated.

When older couples are going through a divorce, they may not understand what to expect during the proceedings. A skilled and knowledgeable divorce attorney can evaluate your specific situation and explain what you can reasonably expect from the process.

Mistakes to Avoid

Some of the most common mistakes spouses make when divorcing later in life are:

  • Not identifying all marital assets. Since a late-life divorce can include a large number of assets, it is vital to make an inventory of all marital assets in order to ensure a fair division.

  • Ignoring tax consequences. Receiving alimony, dividing marital assets, selling property, and other aspects of a divorce may lead to unexpected tax consequences, which is why it is essential to understand the tax implications of your late-life divorce.

  • Forgetting about health insurance. If you have been covered by your spouse’s health insurance, you might lose the coverage if you end your marriage before reaching the age of 65.  

  • Holding on to the family home. While you may have developed a strong emotional connection to the family home, you need to consider the costs of maintaining the home on your own if you want to hold on to it.  

  • Not hiring a divorce attorney. Late-life divorces involve many unique nuances. An experienced divorce attorney can help you understand what to expect when divorcing later in life and guide you through the process to protect your interests.

Getting Experienced Legal Advocacy

The family law attorney at Jeffers Law Office works with clients in municipalities within Johnson County from his office in Overland Park, Kansas. If you are contemplating a late-life divorce, you may need a divorce attorney to skillfully guide you through the process and prepare for the unique challenges you may face when divorcing later in life. Receive a free initial telephone consultation with a divorce attorney at Jeffers Law Office to discuss your case.