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Late-in-Life Divorce: How Is It Different from Other Types of Separations?

More and more people are filing for divorce later in life. In fact, people over 50 are divorcing twice as often as they were thirty years ago. Wrapping your head around a divorce can be an extremely difficult and excruciatingly painful process—especially if you’ve been married for over half of your life. The divorce process is notoriously confusing and emotionally draining. And, divorces occurring later in life can add additional layers of complexity to an already taxing process. 

After decades of marriage, finances and assets are often much more entangled than they are in short-term marriages. This can lead to emotionally driven conflicts and confusion over who is entitled to which assets. After having accumulated so much over the years you’ve spent together, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start when dividing everything. As people advance in their careers, they often accrue additional capital in the form of bonuses, Health Savings Accounts, and retirement savings accounts. Depending on the laws in your state, both parties may be entitled to some of these assets.  Having these additional accounts together may add difficulty to the separation process.

Every divorcing couple will eventually find themselves asking, “Who gets the house?” However, the house is a more intricate issue in long-term marriages. Many older married couples either own their home or have built up a significant amount of equity in their home. This adds a unique dimension to the divorce process because splitting a home is rarely as easy as it sounds. A lot of people are reluctant to sell the house they’ve seen as home for so many years, even if it becomes financially burdensome to keep the house. In long-term separation, many couples do not give enough consideration to selling the home.

Divorces occurring later in life can often introduce new financial obligations, thus disrupting retirement plans. It can be difficult to have less income but similar expenses. The splitting of assets between you and your spouse can be a large unknown in your financial future. You may now be wondering if you will be able to retire as soon as you thought. Or, if you’re already retired, you may find yourself wondering if you’ll need to go back to work.

In late-in-life divorces, spousal support is a frequent point of contention. Spousal support can add further considerations to your financial situation. If your or your spouse will need additional financial support due to physical disabilities or chronic illness, you may be overwhelmed with questions about the amount of spousal support payments, and the duration of them. These unknowns can create challenges in planning for the future.

If you are overwhelmed by the financial uncertainty of a late-in-life divorce, it is important to know that you are not alone. A lot of people find divorce to be the beginning of a confusing and vulnerable time. If you have concerns about your financial security during the separation process, it is important to speak with a good divorce attorney. At CoilLaw, our experienced attorneys understand the nuances of Utah’s divorce laws. We can answer your questions and help you achieve the best outcome possible. 


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