Tips and advice for older couples deciding to separate

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Posted on: 27 September 2018 by Midlands Dove

With the number of people over 50 getting a divorce doubling in the past 20 years, it is no surprise that it has gained such a reputation that it is now referred to as ‘Grey Divorce’. ‘Silver Splitters’ and ‘Diamond Divorcees’ are now separating from their life-long partners in order to start over, but why?

There are two huge factors that have led to the rise in divorce rates of over 50s – the first is the stigma that has been traditionally attached to divorce becoming less influential – the second, as a society we are now living much longer and the thought of spending 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the rest of their lives with their spouse seems unbearable for many.

Recent statistics show that a rising number of those over 50 are taking the leap back into single life. However, just because you’re older, it doesn’t mean it’s any easier – if anything, it’s more difficult due to the fact that you’ve likely been building a life with your significant other for decades. There are many factors you should consider before getting a divorce and a number of things you must prepare for.

Speak to your children

Throughout their whole lives, parents try to protect and safeguard their children from harm – but what do you do when your divorce could become one of the most hurtful things to them? Contrary to popular belief, divorce will affect your children no matter how old they are. If you’re divorcing at 50, the chances are your children are older, more mature, emotionally stronger and perhaps even living away from home – however this doesn’t make the process any easier for them.

For many children, they will be accustomed to their parents being married and divorce, no matter how amicable, can often feel like familial breakdown to them – they may even start to blame themselves or resent the parent who initiated the divorce proceedings. This is why it is important to communicate with them at all times and keep them updated, reassuring your child that they are loved by both parents will help make them feel supported throughout the whole process.

Legal support can help you sort out your assets

When saying “I do” all those years ago, you never expected that you would reach 50 and wonder how to divide your assets and finances as part of divorce proceedings. Many people don’t think about the consequences of divorce when they first get hitched, any why would they? However, the longer you’re married the more difficult and complicated it becomes to divide assets.

Joint accounts, property, mortgages, credit card loans, pension plans and retirement plans all play a part in the division of finances and the longer you’ve been married, the harder it becomes to decide who is entitled to what. Essentially it depends on the life expectancy, age and the external sources of income of each party.

Provided your marriage has ended on good terms, both parties may want to hire just one lawyer to arrange a settlement and take charge of both cases, or as an alternative route, you could choose to pursue family mediation, which will ensure that the separation will be much more amicable. This not only ensures both your interests are met and that the process is as straightforward as possible, but it is also a cost-effective solution.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

During divorce proceedings, communication is key – whether that is with your ex-partner, your child or with your lawyer, being open and honest makes the process as straightforward and stress-free as possible for everyone involved. There are numerous opportunities available for divorcees of 50– these include personal, professional and social opportunities and it is important to remember that your life doesn’t have to come to a standstill just because your marriage has.

 

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