Seldom do people marry believing that it’s temporary. They expect it will be forever.However, as an increasing number of baby boomers are beginning to find out, forever is a very long time.
Our Munster divorce lawyers know that the number of over-50 clients we’ve seen in recent years has been on the rise. Now, the National Center for Family and Marriage Research confirms that this is a nationwide trend. Between 1990 and 2010, researchers say the divorce rate doubled for over-50 couples.
This is a marked shift from the historic trend. In the past, divorce primarily involved younger couples, those who had perhaps married too young and soon realized they had made an awful mistake. Back in 1990, these individuals accounted for 90 percent of all divorces, while those 50 and older accounted for just one in 10.
As of 2010, 50-and-older couples accounted for 25 percent of all divorce filings. It’s higher for those who are already in their second or third marriage.
Some speculate that some of the same things that can recharge a marriage can also cause it to falter. For example, the kids leaving home. Many couples might see this as a chance to revel in one another. But increasingly these days, couples are finding that the kids were the glue, and so the union comes undone.
Another factor is that more often than ever, women have independent and successful careers outside the home. They don’t have to stay in the marriage to survive financially.
Additionally, as the baby boom generation ages, the number of seniors is rising at a rapid rate, which means their overall divorce numbers are going to be higher. People are living longer and healthier too, which means people are less apt to simply accept the status quo solely based on the feeling that it’s too late to change.
And finally, those who have been married and divorce before, although they may be loathe to go down that road again, know when it’s not working. And they know that, having been through it once, they can go through it again and come out alright on the other side.
All of this said, our Munster divorce attorneys are keen to the fact that the needs of divorce clients in their 50s and 60s are far different than those in their 20s and 30s.
Younger couples are primarily going to be concerned with things like child support, mortgage payments and co-mingled debts. There may still be some of that for older couples, but we have found concerns tend to shift to ensuring health insurance for both parties, sorting out home equity liability on underwater homes and long-term support payments and savings.
There is a lot that we can work into the divorce arrangement, depending on your individual situation. The important thing is planning. If you are the one who will likely be initiating the divorce, you may want to sit down with a divorce attorney and a financial planner before even having extensive talks with your soon-to-be-ex. It’s not a matter of loyalty, it’s a matter of practicality and of ensuring your long-term needs will be met.
If you are the one who is being filed upon, do not allow shock to stop you from hurrying to see a lawyer. In some cases, the earlier we can review your case the better our results will be.
As you are going through the process, keep the following in mind:
- Save as much as you can, with the understanding that your income and monthly expenses may be substantially impacted by the aftermath of a divorce;
- Refrain from continuing to support your adult children, whether it is through monthly expenses or a $25,000 wedding. At the very least, wait until the dust has settled and the ink has dried.
- Meet with a financial planner, in addition to meeting with your divorce attorney. In some cases, we will work with financial planners in order to help you hammer out an agreeable divorce settlement that will help you well into retirement.
Indiana Family Law Attorney Burton A. Padove handles divorce and child custody matters throughout northern Indiana, including Gary, Hammond and Calumet City. Call Toll Free 877-446-5294.
Boomer divorce: A costly retirement roadblock, Feb. 26, 2013, By Rodney Brooks, USA Today
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Frequently Asked Divorce Questions for the New Year, Feb. 2, 2013, Munster Divorce Lawyer Blog