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Divorcing Later in Life 

McCarter | East PLLC Aug. 8, 2023

Offended Senior Couple Sitting Back-To-Back Having Marital CrisisDivorce is never easy no matter if you’ve been married for one, ten or thirty years. However, you will encounter different concerns and considerations depending on how old you are when you separate. If you’re divorcing later in life (sometimes referred to as a gray or silver divorce), you’ll need to take certain factors into account that younger couples don’t. To speak with a divorce attorney in Tennessee, contact our firm, McCarter | East PLLC. Here, our skilled team of attorneys helps those located in and around Murfreesboro, Manchester and Woodbury, Tennessee areas. 

Common Reasons People Divorce Later in Life

Divorce can happen to anyone regardless of age, but some common reasons for divorcing later in life include: 

  • Your lives have simply drifted apart. We all know people change throughout their lives, and it’s only natural that a couple who’s been together for decades may grow apart. 

  • Once the youngest child has left the house, the couple may have no compelling reason to stay together. 

  • One or both spouses have retired and have since realized they don’t feel the same for their partner as they once did now that they don’t have the outlet of work to occupy their time. 

  • One spouse may have become ill or disabled in some way, which limits the lifestyle goals the other partner wants. 

  • People are simply living longer lives, and at the age of 50, 60, or even 70, you may be ready to start a new chapter in your life. 

Things to Consider

Although many factors will remain constant in any divorce, there are some specific considerations when divorcing later in life: 

  • Division of Assets: At this point in life, you’ve likely accumulated a number of assets that will now need to be divided between the two spouses. This can get particularly difficult when trying to determine what is considered “separate” property and what is considered “marital” property.  

  • Alimony: Alimony is often temporarily awarded to the lower-earning (or non-earning) spouse after a divorce. This is intended to help them gain employment and get back on their feet after the split. In a silver divorce, the spouse may be retired, beyond their earning years, or disabled and unable to work, which means that alimony may need to be paid indefinitely.  

  • Retirement: It’s likely that an older couple has built a considerable retirement fund and may even be taking payments from it. Dividing these assets and addressing tax implications can be quite complicated. 

  • Life Insurance: There may be requirements for those who are paying alimony to also carry a life insurance policy that’s equal to the full amount of these payments, and this will need to be discussed with a family law attorney.  

  • Social Security: Finally, divorcing later in life may affect how and when you can draw from your Social Security account and what benefits your spouse will have, even after the divorce.  

Mistakes to Avoid

There are many mistakes when divorcing later in life that people make, but chief among them is not working with a reputable attorney. An experienced lawyer can advise you on all the necessary steps and connect you with financial advisors for tax and investment-specific concerns.  

Above all, you’ll need to take your time during this process to ensure that every aspect is accounted for, including assets, insurance policies, property, pensions, health insurance, and tax obligations. You may be past your earning years now, which makes it all the more essential to make sure you have a reliable income stream after your divorce.   

Close This Chapter With Confidence & Security 

If you’d like to work with a trusted law firm during your divorce, call us at McCarter | East PLLC to make an appointment. Our offices are located in Murfreesboro, Manchester, and Woodbury, Tennessee, and our offices are all just a few blocks from the courthouse.