Marriage is a wonderful institution if it works for both people. But a bad marriage can quickly turn toxic and saps happiness from both people until no one is left happy. You shouldn’t remain married for the sake of being married, regardless of how old you are. Later in life divorce is becoming increasingly common, in fact, divorce rates for couples over 50 have doubled. This post will go over the issues you should consider if you are considering an end to a long-term marriage.
Age, as an explicit and distinct factor, does not influence the court. The court will treat a divorce between 20 year-olds, 40 year-olds, 60 year-olds, and 90 year-olds, the same. The real difference is in the duration of the marriage (which could affect support orders) and the assets acquired by the couple, which will need to be separated.
In this case, dividing the marital property in half becomes more likely. If you live in a “community property” state, the law requires a 50/50 split for all property acquired during the marriage, including retirement accounts. But even if you live in an equitable division state, it is highly likely that some version of a 50/50 split will eventually result.
Furthermore, the court is likely to impose a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). A QDRO allows an ex-spouse to collect from the retirement account of the other spouse. It is best to think of these orders as supplement spousal support for people who no longer work for the majority of their income.
Divorcing later in life is more complex by the sheer fact that you have been together longer and acquired more money and assets than younger couples, but it isn’t impossible or even out of the question. If you are considering a late-in-life divorce, you should seek counsel from an attorney. A lawyer can go over the steps in the disputes and how best to divide up the marital property (which could include business assets). You don’t want to discern these issues on your own; it could result in disastrous financial consequences. A lawyer can assist you through this period.