Divorcing after 50 is not as uncommon as it once was. In fact, as gray divorces are happening more frequently, people over 50 are quickly becoming the leading demographic of divorcees. These later-in-life divorces are not only happening among individuals who are already on their second and third marriages. Recent studies have found that almost 50 percent of gray divorces actually consist of first-timers.
If you are over 50 and considering divorce, there are several things to know before you even begin the process. While you are probably already focusing on who gets the main residence in Pearland and who gets the beach condo on Galveston Island, there are several factors you may not have thought about yet. Read further to find out more about what you should know when it comes to a gray divorce.
Expect to pay alimony
In general, courts will grant alimony after long-term marriages. You should prepare yourself for this to be part of the divorce settlement with your future ex-wife. Often, for younger couples, a court will grant alimony for a temporary amount of time, usually while the lower-earning spouse becomes self-sufficient. In situations where the marriage was long term and you are both approaching retirement age, you can expect to pay alimony indefinitely.
You're going to lose half of your retirement
Prepare yourself for watching your retirement accounts and pensions get cut in half. In general, any money that you deposited or contributed directly from your paychecks into retirement accounts or pension funds during your marriage will be marital property in the eyes of the court. That means, in Texas, she will probably get half. If you want to hang on to the retirement accounts, you might be able to swap other assets of equal value. Either way, you are going to have to give something up.
Be prepared to negotiate
Like with your retirement accounts, if you want to keep the main residence, be prepared to say goodbye to other assets. Negotiation is key when it comes to settling out of court, if that is your goal. However, keep in mind, that when you submit your settlement to the court, the judge is going to make sure each of you is walking away with an equal or fair amount of the marital property. Neither one of you will be able to keep everything, so start thinking about what you are willing to let go and what you absolutely have to keep.
There are many other factors you should keep in mind when preparing for a gray divorce. Your attorney will be able to help you through the process and work a settlement that is fair but also protects your interests.