Issues to Consider with Senior Divorce Rates on the Rise
Older couples getting divorced was once considered unusual, but it is becoming much more commonplace. Earlier this month, U.S. News & World Report published an article discussing the rising divorce rate among baby boomers and senior citizens. According to research conducted by Bowling Green State University’s National Center for Family & Marriage Research Center, the number of divorces involving people 50 and older doubled between1990 and 2009, even for seniors over age 65.
The older American divorce trend may become even more evident as the baby boomer generation enters their senior years. The same research found that remarried people who have already been through one divorce are 2.5 times more likely to divorce again, and many baby boomers are on their second marriage by the time they reach their 50s and 60s. Also, baby boomers generally accept divorce as an appropriate means of pursuing a more satisfying life.
Divorce Late in Life Poses Financial Risks for Seniors
Most people have a plan for providing for themselves and their families upon retirement, but late-life divorce can create numerous financial issues for seniors. For example, if one spouse was the breadwinner in the family, the other will most likely qualify for half of his or her retirement savings, and there may be concerns over estates and inheritances among any children the couple had together. Other issues that seniors may have to deal with in divorce include:
- Division of a house that has been owned for many years and substantially appreciated in value
- The income tax impact of retirement assets
- The difficulty of returning to or maintaining the same standard of living as during the marriage
- Dividing investment assets so that each party has a diversified portfolio
- Any physical or mental infirmities of either party
In addition to resolving issues related to asset division and health, senior divorcees will likely need many new legal documents, including wills, trusts, health care directives, IRAs, pensions, and insurance policies that reflect their new single status.
Talk to an Experienced Alabama Family Law Attorney
If you are facing divorce at any stage in your life, you need an experienced family law attorney to ensure your rights and interests are protected. Please contact Lana Hawkins at The Hawkins Law Firm to learn more about your divorce options and our representation. Serving in Guntersville, Huntsville, Arab, Boaz and Albertville, Alabama, we are conveniently located to serve Marshall County and the surrounding counties in northern Alabama.