Singular divorce considerations for seniors, Part 2

Last updated on April 8, 2021

We pointed out in our immediately preceding blog post that “divorcing seniors have a highly singular and age-specific set of divorce-related issues that they must often contend with.”

Our May 20 entry didn’t get into specifics.

We do that today.

Here’s one, and a divorce consideration that doesn’t feature nearly as often in dissolution matters involving truly young couples: alimony.

In most cases, says Bob Boyd, the ex-president of Georgia’s chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, divorcing seniors who are still working are “going to pay some alimony.”

And it could end up being a longer-term arrangement than is often the case for young couples, given that one spouse in a long-tenured baby boomer marriage (typically the wife) often spent years inside the home sacrificing a work career to take care of the kids. Many courts feel that she should be duly compensated for the important role she played while forgoing the opportunity to earn money outside the home.

And here’s another consideration: equitably splitting up the assets accrued from what is often a decades-long partnership. That can be tricky, given the need to consider the family home, pensions, retirement plans, stock options, tax implications, the aforementioned possibility of alimony, and additional factors.

And then there are the kids. Granted, boomer divorces seldom involve custody and visitation issues, but what if an adult child has a disability or other limitation that has kept him or her at home for a lifetime? Obviously, there are things to think about if the family home is going to be sold in a divorce, and if divorce means that the level of disposable income customarily relied upon in a household and used to help a dependent older child is going to be diminished going forward.

In virtually every instance where a divorced senior is contemplating remarriage, he or he might want to logically consider executing a prenuptial agreement. Divorce at an older age can understandably stretch finances, and remarrying might subject entitlements awarded in a prior divorce to some risk in the event a subsequent marriage doesn’t work out.

Myriad, complex and interwoven issues come into play for many divorcing seniors. A proven family law attorney with experience representing older divorcing persons can answer questions and provide knowledgeable legal assistance geared toward securing a senior client’s best interests.

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