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Divorce after age 50 on Long Island is becoming increasingly common. In fact, the divorce rate among people age 50 and older more than doubled between 1990 and 2010, according to one study. Unfortunately, what many people fail to realize is that the stakes are often much higher when it comes to divorcing after age 50. Often, these couples have accumulated more real property and significant assets during their marriages in comparison with younger couples.

There are certain aspects of these types of divorces that should not be ignored. In particular, there are certain issues that are specific to these types of divorces that make divorcing after 50 far more complex. Because of years of intermingling and sharing assets, certain issues will need to be carefully addressed in divorce and divorce mediation.

This post discusses some of the common mistakes that are made by those divorcing later in life.

Divorce After 50 Mistake 1: Failing to Carefully Address the Needs of Older Children

For older couples, divorce or separation agreements regarding child custody and visitation are often no longer necessary as the children are also adults. However, divorcing spouses may need to address who will pay for things like children’s college tuition and expenses or who will care for grandchildren as part of the new financial considerations of senior life. Make sure to have a plan in place that ensures your children receive assets according to your wishes, and that your former spouse is responsible for providing for them as well.

Divorce After 50 Mistake 2: Forgetting that Spousal Support May Only Last So Long

Spousal support (also known as alimony) is likely to play a greater role in a divorce after 50 when spouses are ending a long-term marriage. What is customary for spousal support can vary, but those divorcing from a marriage of more than 20 or 25 years might even expect that courts will order spousal support for life. However, it is also important to remember that spousal support “for life” may be a much shorter period of time for older ex-spouses. Instead, make sure you also protect your interests in your ex-spouse’s social security, retirement accounts like pension plans, 401(k)s, and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). These types of accounts may also be split during equitable distribution, as they are treated as marital assets in divorce.

Divorce After 50 Mistake 3: Failing to Sign a Prenuptial Agreement Before Your Next Marriage

Finally, those who divorce after 50 are encouraged to seriously consider a prenuptial agreement in the event they decide to remarry. Since older individuals generally have accumulated more assets than younger singles, it is especially important to consider a prenuptial agreement to protect your assets prior to entering into another marriage. Especially since you have endured divorce once before, perhaps without a prenup, you know that this is not a process you would like to go through again. While it is generally true that the longer a marriage endures, the less likely it is for the marriage to end in divorce, it is also true that many people over fifty who divorce are in second or third marriages, which generally means a greater likelihood of divorce.

Divorce After 50 Mistake 4: Failing to Consult with an Experienced Attorney

Divorce is undoubtedly a stressful life transition, and can be even more so after a marriage that has lasted decades. You may have uncertainty about your future and the future of your children, and it is important to have a trusted attorney to provide you with guidance and strategic planning throughout the process. An experienced attorney can help you to recognize key issues in your divorce. For example, if there is a stay-at-home spouse, he or she will need to become aware that access to health insurance through his or her spouse will no longer be available after divorce. Your attorney should also take into account other considerations for “gray divorces”, including whether there is one spouse who stayed home to raise the children and thereby gave up a meaningful ability to reenter the workforce, whether and when each spouse will receive a pension or social security income, and how many years will each spouse continue to work and generate an employment income. Without careful consideration of some of these complex legal issues, you can be left with an unfair settlement.

Divorce After 50 Free Long Island Divorce Attorney Consultation

If you are considering divorce after 50, it is important that you speak to a qualified, experienced, and trustworthy divorce attorney to help you plan ahead for your future. Our office has handled hundreds of divorces in Nassau County, Suffolk, County, and the boroughs of New York City with successful outcomes and satisfied clients. Contact our office today at 631-923-1910 for a free consultation.

For more information about Divorce on Long Island, visit this page: Divorce Lawyers Answer Questions about Long Island Divorce

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