The Challenges of a Late Life Divorce

The Challenges of a Late Life Divorce

Divorce is never an easy or simple experience. With a constant flow of tedious paperwork on top of emotional trials, it’s no wonder divorce is stressful. But what if you and your spouse have been together for 30 or 40 years? How does one begin to deal with a divorce after a long-term, life-defining relationship?

Marriages break down for many reasons. Some couples wake up one day and realize that they are just not happy together. They raised their children together and have discovered that the person they wake up to every morning is not the person they feel they should be with. It’s common for couples to stay together for the sake of the children, but once they experience empty nest they may gain perspective on their own situation.

It’s also possible to uncover infidelity, either a new experience or an ongoing adultery for many years. Either way the stress infidelity puts on a marriage is most often insurmountable and eventually leads to the breakdown of the marriage.

Is getting divorced in your golden years different from getting divorced as a young or middle-aged adult? Here are a few things to consider.

1. Division of assets can be quite significant

After decades of marriage, there are likely significant assets held between the two of you that may be difficult to divide as equally as the law dictates. There could be sentimental objects, family cottages, or valuable collectibles that hold meaning to each spouse making division of the assets emotional and difficult. Younger couples who experience divorce do not necessarily have significant assets and the division is much simpler to undertake.

2. Adjustment to life after long-term marriage

Divorce is all about starting a new life. But for a couple who have been married for decades, starting anew may be more of a challenge than you might think. The constant presence of the other person in your daily life is sure to be missed to some degree. Lack of companionship is a problem seniors often experience and subjecting yourself to loneliness voluntarily can be hard to endure.

3. Consider your health

As you age, your body starts to slow down and medical problems are often a commonality. Typically in a marriage the healthier spouse will handle the medical concerns of the other. This can mean management of medication, ensuring proper meals are prepared, or keeping up with doctors appointments. Remove the caregiver and suddenly one spouse is in a significantly weakened position.

Not all marriages are meant to last. If you are in your golden years and contemplating divorce, you can be certain to encounter many challenges. If you require assistance with drafting a separation agreement or negotiating property division or spousal support, Court Coach LLP can help.

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The material on our website/blog is intended to provide only general information to the public and our existing clients. This information cannot under any circumstances be relied on as legal advice. To obtain legal advice, or to learn how the information on this website may or may not apply in your situation, please contact our office to speak with one of our lawyers.