Divorce after 50 is becoming such a common trend that it’s now dubbed “gray divorce.” Some of the topics we’ll be covering may seem common sense, while others may not be. Afterall, divorce is tricky at any age.
That’s why we’re here to guide you through it. Here’s everything you need to know about getting divorced after 50.
Think Of The Kids
By 50, most kids will be thriving out of the nest. But no matter how mature or dependent your kids may be, divorce is heavy for everyone involved.
If you do have kids, be sure to check in on them throughout the divorce process to make sure they’re okay. And while it may seem easy to go to them with your stress, don’t. You could be putting children in the middle of the divorce, and adding an extra burden to their lives.
I say this because a friend of mine is currently buckling under the stress of her parent’s divorce. She’s in her 20’s and successful, but the strain of the divorce is so great that she’s had to seek counseling. Both her parents unintentionally used her as leverage at the expense of her own mental health.
Even if you can’t go to your kids with your divorce woes, there are still plenty of people you can go to for help…
Focus On Financial Stability
There’s a good chance you’re losing something in a divorce. If your partner was the breadwinner, that leaves you in a bind on how to make and manage money, even if you do win a chunk of money in the divorce. Don’t rely on your partner to hold your hand after the divorce.
This is your time to be selfish. Make sure that you’re set up financially. Don’t sign anything until you know you’ll be taken care of.
Make sure that everything is divided fairly and put in your name, especially as they pertain to joint accounts. We’ll get into keeping track of your assets later. If you have a will, alter it so that it reflects who your desired beneficiaries are.
If your partner was the breadwinner, you may be looking for employment for the first time in a long time. Don’t be discouraged.
Rely on any friends and networks you’ve nurtured over the years. You never know when someone you know has a job opportunity that offers a great 401(k) match.
And don’t forget to put any volunteer experience on your resume. Not only does it show initiative, it also demonstrates your skills in a wide range of scenarios.
If you’re getting divorced closer to retirement, or working isn’t an option, you need to ensure that your 401(k) plan can take care of you.
This may mean making a few sacrifices. If money is going to be tight, you can consider moving into a smaller home or lowering your standard of living.
I know a lot of this doesn’t sound appealing, but the goal is to make sure you’re set up for the long term.
A large part of finding your footing and financial stability is making an inventory of what you and your partner shared. This goes beyond the physical property.
Make sure you have a good idea of what’s in your bank accounts, personal and shared. Also be aware of any investments, retirement accounts, pensions, and life insurance policies.
Create a list for yourself of what you own, what your partner owns, and what you share. Make sure you know what’s on the list, so you don’t get blindsided in the divorce.
Divorces aren’t usually pretty sights. Yeah, there are stories of people settling amicably and with little cost to either party, but those cases are rare. If a divorce was sprung upon you, you may be in for a rude awakening.
A divorce doesn’t spring up out of nowhere. Usually, they result from years of pent-up and unexpressed emotions. Don’t be surprised when your former significant other shows a side of themselves that you’ve never seen before.
They may try to be seeking revenge for something from the marriage. Again, this is a time for you to be selfish. Lawyer up, find your center and keep moving forward.
Don’t Be Afraid To Reach Out
As mentioned, this divorce after 50 is a growing trend. This isn’t to say that what you may be feeling is any less real, but there is help out there if you need it.
From counseling to friends, don’t be afraid to reach out. Whether you like it or not, this is a time for change; don’t wall yourself in. Sometimes all you need is an open ear and supportive shoulder.
Also, take some time to step back from the situation and reevaluate your life. Get a life coach if you need to, but try to find out what you truly want out of life.
A New Beginning
No matter how the divorce turns out, this is your time to reassess your life and goals. What do you want? You can go back to school, travel, or pursue artistic goals.
If you view the time after your divorce as saddening then that’s exactly what it’s going to be. This is a time to reinvent and challenge yourself. This is a new beginning.
Hope During Divorce After 50
Like any kind of divorce, divorce after 50 can be a painful and confusing time. You may not have the life you had before, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This is a time to explore who you are, secure your future, and defend yourself if need be.
If you or someone you know find yourselves facing divorce after 50, please contact us at the Law Offices of Gerard A. Falzone, Attorney At Law. It is our pleasure to serve the central Bay Area. We are here for anyone going through the financial and emotional difficulties that divorce presents.
Divorce can be a tumultuous and challenging experience, but it doesn’t have to be experienced alone. There’s always help, and there’s always hope for the future and the joys that it will bring.