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Divorcing Later in Life

May 3, 2021

Older couple sitting apart looking sadWhile divorce is not what most people envision for the future of their marriage, it is common in the United States. According to the American Psychological Association, about 40-50% of couples who get married end up getting divorced. If it is a subsequent marriage, the rate of divorce is even higher.

Getting divorced is not exclusive to young couples. If you do get divorced later in life, there may be different factors to consider in the process. Having an attorney who can guide you through the process can make it easier.

Shannon A. Jones, Attorney at Law, is dedicated to offering comprehensive legal guidance to clients in matters of divorce. An experienced Tennessee family law attorney, Shannon A. Jones will review the circumstances surrounding your unique situation and educate you about your divorce options.

S. A. Jones Law serves clients throughout Memphis, Germantown, Cordova, and Covington, Tennessee. Call today to schedule a free consultation.

Common Reasons for Divorce Later in Life

Divorce can happen for many reasons and is unique to each couple. Common reasons for divorce to happen later in life include, but are not limited to:

  1. Empty Nest — If you and your spouse have a family that you built together, the last child leaving home can cause a shift. For some couples, everything had revolved around the kids and they didn’t realize they had nothing holding them together as a couple anymore once the house became empty. For other couples, they may have realized that the marriage was no longer working, but they were purposely waiting for the kids to leave home before considering divorce.

  2. Growing Apart — The simplest of reasons is that sometimes, people just grow apart. It may just not get recognized or occur until later on in life.

  3. Retirement — Similar to an empty nest, retirement creates another huge shift in life. No longer going to work every day gives people free time and energy they didn’t have before. When you have to spend more time together or decide to lead very different retired lifestyles, this can lead to issues — and eventually divorce.

Factors to Consider

If you are filing for divorce later in life, there are some aspects, such as custody, that you won’t have to consider. There are, however, other things that anyone divorcing later in life needs to take into account.

  1. Division of Assets — The division of assets can involve more if you have been with your spouse for a long time. Assets ranging from where you live to your retirement benefits must be considered.

  2. Alimony — Alimony can look different as an older couple divorcing depending on how you lived your life. If one person stayed home to take care of the house, it could be harder for them to find a job and support themselves. Aspects such as pensions and restricted stock shares can also come into play.

  3. Retirement — Survivor benefits, pensions, and 401ks, and whether or not you are entitled to anything after the divorce requires careful attention when figuring out a settlement.

  4. Life Insurance — If you do have to pay alimony, you need to have a life insurance policy worth a certain amount.

  5. Social Security — At this point, you may be receiving Social Security benefits or will be in the near future. Whether or not your spouse will end up receiving your benefits as well or pulling from their own is something that should be discussed in the settlement. A court can’t divide Social Security, but there are rules surrounding it, especially if you have been married for over a decade and are over 62 years of age. In this case, you can collect from your former spouse’s Social Security.

How a Skilled Attorney Can Help

Navigating a divorce at any time can be a complicated and messy process. Having an attorney guide you through it can make everything easier. Attorney Shannon A. Jones is ready to help you navigate this difficult period using his extensive experience to negotiate a fair resolution. Contact Shannon A. Jones today to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable divorce attorney. S. A. Jones Law proudly serves clients throughout Memphis, Germantown, Cordova, and Covington, Tennessee.