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Senior Citizen Divorce

Senior Citizen Divorce Lawyer in California

Divorce is sometimes a complex process at any age and typically leads couples to make financial adjustments to their daily lifestyle. For both parties, however, the economic impact of a divorce can be more significant for couples who are senior citizens who are often retired.

“Senior citizen divorce” generally refers to people who have been married for over 25 years. Once someone gets closer to retirement age, they have less time to recover from divorce-related financial losses.

Senior Citizen Divorce Lawyer in California
A divorce for senior citizens married over 25 years has many unique and complex challenges.

Further, they have fewer career advancement opportunities. Despite this, later-in-life divorce, often called “gray divorce” or “silver-era divorce,” rates remain high. This era is often called the baby boomer generation.

One of the reasons is that people are now living longer than ever and have reached a point where they don't want to spend their remaining time in an unhappy marriage. Sometimes, these marriages had been failing for years.

After kids grow up and leave home, some spouses start considering plans for their golden years. Getting a divorce was never socially acceptable for some older couples, and their parents taught them it was never an option.

However, there is much less stigma associated with divorce as it has become more common among older couples. For older people who have made the difficult choice to end their marriage, divorce often means dividing substantial assets and savings accumulated over decades.

This also means their divorce can quickly become high-conflict and challenging to resolve through a settlement agreement. In addition, older women are usually less financially stable than men after a senior citizen's divorce.

While getting a divorce later in life is rarely easy, there are some practical steps you can take to make the process a bit easier and have a stable future.

One of the first steps is to get experienced legal guidance so you can consider all your options to make informed decisions. Our California divorce and family law lawyers will review this topic below.

How is a Senior Citizen Divorce Different?

A later-in-life divorce typically has unique challenges when compared to a younger couple. But, let's face it; it's pretty different in many ways, such as the following:

  • Older people are generally more stable and have a more significant amount of property and other valuables and commingled marital property, meaning more significant challenges in dividing property;
  • They have acquired financial assets during their lifetime and will often fall into the category of a high-asset or high-net-worth divorce, making the divorce process more complex;
  • They have other related issues such as dividing a business, professional practice, multiple properties, vacation home, retirement and pensions, investment and savings accounts;
  • Older couples might have to modify their will or estate plan and change whom they have listed as a beneficiary;
  • Older people generally have more healthcare and life insurance expenses, meaning a divorce can affect coverage and benefits;
  • An older person is generally far less financially independent because they have been married so long and living on social security or a pension plan.

What Are Some Divorce Tips for Senior Citizens?

As noted, divorce for older couples will not be easy, but some tips for senior citizens can help during the California divorce proceedings.

As discussed above, there are many unique concerns that younger spouses will not have and often require some legal guidance. Let's review some important things to remember for older citizens seeking a divorce:

  • Reach an agreement on who will keep the marital home and pets;
  • Prepare to pay spousal support;
  • Review retirement benefits and pension;
  • Review how divorce will impact Social Security payments;
  • Use divorce medication if necessary.

The issue of which spouse will keep the marital home is frequently debated as senior citizens may have lived in the house for decades where they raised their children. It's similar to the furniture and other goods inside the home.

Divorce Tips for Senior Citizens
There are some useful tips for getting a divorce.

However, selling the home and dividing the proceeds financially might make sense. Often, the best approach is negotiating with your spouse with legal guidance from your lawyer.

Notably, even if both spouses receive Social Security payments, spousal support (alimony) could still be part of negotiations during divorce for older couples.

Suppose one spouse gave up a career and spent most of their marriage at home to raise the kids. The family court could order alimony for the lesser-earning spouse in that case. You should consult with a family law lawyer to review options.

Similarly, you might be eligible for up to half of your former spouse's Social Security benefits after divorce if your earning benefits are less than half. Further, it would be best to determine whether your former spouse is entitled to a pension or any other financial benefits.

Divorce mediation is a less complicated alternative to traditional divorce proceedings, especially for a senior citizen divorce. Some of the advantages of mediation include spending less money and reducing some stress. A contested divorce in California is expensive.

Children and Pets

While most children have already grown up and have their own families, it will likely be troubling when they learn their parents are getting divorced.

Telling them will not be easy, but you should be open and honest with your kids and grandchildren and let them know you will always support them.

Another unique aspect of a senior citizen divorce is the close emotional bonds with the family pets. Retired couples are more likely to have pets in their home than younger adults.

If you are going through a divorce, you will have made the difficult decision of who will have full pet ownership. Remember that litigation in court may not produce the desired outcome if you can't reach a mutual agreement. Simply put, fighting over your family pets is not a wise decision. Instead, you will have to find a way to settle the issue.

Get Help from a Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is rarely easy, especially after spending most of your life with your spouse. Getting through this challenging period will usually require support from family and friends.

You will likely need time and space to move forward with your new life. Focusing on future happiness could help the healing process, but it will take some time.

Divorce Lawyer in Los Angeles
Contact our divorce lawyers for legal advice.

If you are a senior citizen in California seeking a divorce, getting experienced legal representation can make divorce proceedings easier. A family law lawyer can help you with crucial legal guidance and advice that can impact your financial security.

While the thought of a senior divorce might seem overwhelming, you can ease some stress by learning how to protect your future financial interest.

The decisions you make now during divorce can impact you for many years. However, with proper, lawful guidance, you can protect your legal rights and get a fair settlement on property division and other related issues.

You can contact our law firm for a free case evaluation by phone or through the contact form. Furman & Zavatsky are Los Angeles divorce and family law attorneys providing legal representation across Southern California.

Call a Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer

Family law disputes have the potential to have a significant impact on your quality of life and overall happiness. As a result, it is critical for you to protect your rights to the fullest extent possible when involved in a dispute related to family law. The lawyers of Furman & Zavatsky have the skill and experience to resolve your case as favorably as possible and provide compassionate and understanding legal counsel and representation. We also offer flat fee legal services for divorce and family law issues.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our Los Angeles divorce attorneys, call our office today at 818-528-3471. Read our blog on how to prepare for your first meeting with a divorce lawyer.

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17200 Ventura Blvd., #105
Encino, CA 91316
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