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Jun 23, 2020

Divorce After 50: Special Considerations

Divorce Mediation, Finances, Future Post-Divorce

What are the issues unique to couples over the age of 50?

When couples 50+ seek a divorce, it’s very likely a long-term marriage of more than 20 years. The longer a couple are married, the more complicated their “uncoupling” becomes. Their lives are more intertwined and there are undoubtedly more assets and liabilities to be sorted.

In Pennsylvania, The equitable distribution section of the Divorce Code lists 11 factors to consider when deciding on the final percentage split of the marital estate. Two of those factors are: the length of the marriage and the age of each spouse.

Ongoing spousal support

Since the earning power of a financially more dependent spouse is questionable, they may need alimony for the balance of their life. Conversely, the independent spouse may be looking toward retirement. That spouse maybe concerned about the expectation to support the other spouse after retirement. Social security benefits, which are excluded as a part of equitable distribution, always generate questions from my clients in mediation. As a practical matter they should be a part of everyone’s equation in retirement planning.

This circumstance requires unique solutions. In mediation with the ALPHA CENTER for DIVORCE MEDIATION, we discuss all possible scenarios, carefully contemplate and choose the solution that works best for BOTH parties, given the circumstances.

Estate Issues from a Previous Marriage

If this is not a first marriage, the issues may be slightly different. Certainly they can be more complicated, particularly if there are children from both the first marriage and from the subsequent marriage. Careful consideration must be given to the estate issues for each marriage and each family. The division of assets may also be more complicated because some assets, such as retirement fund being divided between first and second ex-spouses.

For more information about divorce after 50, download our ebook on by clicking on this link:
Gray Divorce.

Debbie Schneider is an attorney-mediator at the Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation.

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