Divorce rates of those who are over 50 have doubled since 1990. Gray divorce is the term that’s commonly used to describe the dissolution of marriage for older couples. You will find that the reasons tend to be similar for divorce after 50 and above as they are for those who are under 50. It could be infidelity, growing apart, money issues, or other common problems that have finally made one or both of the spouses want to call it quits.
Below, we will be looking at some of the biggest mistakes that people make when they are getting divorced. These can be bad regardless of your age, but they tend to be worse for those who are older.
Letting Emotion Take Control
Divorce is going to bring out a lot of emotions in most people. The types of emotions you feel, and their intensity, will vary from one person to the next. The way you feel can often depend on which side of the divorce you are on. Did you file for divorce, or did you receive the divorce papers?
You might find that you are angry at your spouse, which can make it more difficult to negotiate when you try to settle. You might become withdrawn and despondent, which is unhealthy for you. Others might feel manic and filled with anxiety about what to do and what comes next.
Sometimes, it’s hard to get our emotions under control in these types of situations. To help make matters easier, you may want to consider talking with a therapist if you feel that emotions could end up being a problem for you.
Keeping the House
Do you really want to keep the house? What is it about the house that makes you want to ask for it in the divorce? For a lot of people, it’s the nostalgia of the home. They have fond memories. It might be where the kids were raised. Although there may be those wonderful memories, it’s just a house. Take photos and videos of the place to remember it.
Don’t automatically think that you need the house, as it could be a bad position to take. If you try to get the house that you and your spouse both own, you will have to give up other assets to get the house, or you would have to buy out your partner’s half.
Not only that, but if there is still a mortgage on the property, you will need to refinance. This isn’t always possible.
Often, the better solution will be to sell the property and then split any profit with your spouse in the divorce. Better to wash your hands of the place entirely.
Not Having a Full Inventory of Assets
Most of the time, one partner will have a good grasp of the overall finances and assets in the marriage. The other partner will have less knowledge about those things, and in some cases, they won’t know much at all. If you fell into either of those two latter categories, it’s time that you changed that.
Take the time to learn about your finances including all of the assets that you have as a married couple and that you have separately. This includes bank accounts, investments, retirement accounts, etc.
Not Knowing What’s Owed
Just as you need to know how much you have in assets you also need to consider the amount of debt you have. In Arizona, you are entitled to half of everything in the marriage… of course, this also means debts. If your spouse has a lot of debt that was accumulated during your marriage, you are going to be responsible for half of it in most cases.
There may be some instances where you could prove that your spouse was spending recklessly, where the court might change what you would owe. For example, if you discover that your husband had a gambling addiction and they spent a lot on credit cards to fund that addiction, you might not have to pay. Of course, you can’t have known about or enabled that addiction.
Always know what is owed, so you don’t end up dealing with any surprises.
Not Considering Working with Specialists
When you are getting a divorce after 50 years old, there may be a lot of money and assets involved. You don’t want to take any chances on the divorce, which means you should always be willing to work with specialists. This includes attorneys who have handled cases like yours, as well as certified divorce financial analysts and tax professionals who can help you understand what the divorce may mean for your finances.
Not Taking Time to Grieve
Divorce is a major change in your life, and even if you are excited and happy about the change, it will take some getting used to. For many people, there will be sadness and hollowness that are initially felt. You will feel grief at the loss, and that’s normal. It doesn’t mean that you made the wrong decision, though. Accept the grief and learn to move past it.
Not Moving On with Your Life
Another mistake that folks often make when getting a divorce after 50 is not moving on with their lives. They sometimes feel as though the best years are past them, which is not true at all. Just because you get a divorce doesn’t mean that you have to stop living a full life. It’s the perfect time to get out there and find new things to enjoy in your life. Don’t rush into a new relationship, but don’t think that love is out of the option in your future either.
Divorce is going to be difficult at any stage of your life. When you are older, though, it can seem like you have less time to get everything done and to get your life back on track afterward. It doesn’t have to be that way. Keep these mistakes in mind when you are getting divorced, so you can avoid them.