It is a major event to end a marriage that spans two or three decades — or more — but some seniors tend to view divorce differently than they would have at age 40 or even 50.
With time, priorities change. There are new vistas to contemplate along with new concerns. If you are a senior who is facing divorce, here are five things to keep in mind.
An older person does not usually have as much earning power as a younger person, and a judge will take that into account along with the person’s age. A senior may be able to receive permanent alimony even if the marriage was of relatively short duration because it is harder for an older person to find employment that would provide sufficient support.
What once looked like a very significant nest egg will be cut in half when you divorce. Any retirement funds will likely be split evenly between you and your soon-to-be ex, and you may have to make some adjustments in the formerly more comfortable retirement picture.
There will have to be some give and take in the area of property division. For example, you may feel strongly about keeping the family home, but if you do, you may have to give up something else of value to balance things out.
Your children may be adults, but that does not mean they no longer need you. It is not unusual for parents to continue providing financial support to their grown children, but this is not something that is usually written into a divorce agreement unless a child is still in school or has a disability. Since your own financial support is diminishing, you may have to work out a solution with your spouse to continue financial support for the kids.
After spending many years together, it would be a shame to end your marriage on a bitter note. If you make an honest attempt to handle your divorce amicably, civility will be valuable in your future dealings, particularly those involving your children and grandchildren.