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Special conditions caused by divorcing later in life

As the phenomenon of gray divorce continues to increase, Texas residents who are 50 or older might have to face the challenges that divorcing later in life can bring. With gray divorce increasing to 1 in 4 in 2010 from 1 in 10 in 1990, the financial outcomes of these marriages breaking up can be very difficult to overcome.

According to experts, the reason why gray divorce has such a financial impact is because people have less time to rebuild their savings when their marriages come to an end. After a gray divorce, household wealth for both spouses can drop by as much as 50% with older divorced women suffering financially much more than women who remain in a marriage. Each person then finds him or herself having to cover all household expenses on his or her own. This decline in wealth is the result of a variety of things, such as not being able to make up the amount lost from retirement benefits due to time or struggling to find a job after age 50. To complicate matters even more, individuals who divorce in their 50s or later tend to have older children who might be college-aged and still need their parents' support. Therefore, the split can also affect them and any grandchildren.

Post-divorce co-parenting tips

There will come a point when your divorce is in the past and you need to turn your attention to the future. As challenging as it may be to move on, doing so will help put your children in the best position to succeed.

While every parent takes a different approach to co-parenting, these five tips will help keep you on track:

  • Take into account everyone's feelings: Don't focus so much time on your feelings that you overlook what's best for your children and even your ex-spouse. When everyone is comfortable with the situation, there's less risk of a disagreement.
  • Pick your battles wisely: You'll have no problem finding things to argue about with your ex-spouse, but this isn't healthy for anyone. Pick your battles wisely, as you don't want to turn every disagreement into a major blow-up.
  • Continue to communicate with your ex: If you don't communicate effectively with your ex, it will affect the both of you, as well as your children. It doesn't matter how you communicate, as long as you do so. Phone, text, email and face-to-face communication are all ideas to consider.
  • Remain flexible: There are times when you or your ex-spouse will need to alter the schedule that's in place. Unless you absolutely can't make a change, you should try to accommodate the request.
  • Never put your children in the middle: It's your hope that you can eventually get along with your ex, but even if you can't, you never want to put your children in the middle of your toxic relationship. For instance, don't ask your children about their other parent's dating life. Don't speak poorly about your ex in front of your children. Doing these types of things makes an already difficult situation more challenging.

Issues that Texas home sellers are required to disclose

Real estate disputes can result in lengthy and costly conflicts. Home sellers need to be aware of any problems that can cause health or financial difficulties for buyers and disclose those issues before a sale takes place.

The failure to disclose serious deficiencies with a property in Texas can result in legal and financial problems. Items in the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) disclosure form that sellers need to reveal to any potential buyer include:

How divorce can impact a person's health

Ending a marriage is an upheaval at any age, but it can be especially difficult for those who are over the age of 50. In fact, divorce is ranked number two on the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory. Divorce rates are rising for those who are over the age of 50 in Texas and throughout the nation in spite of the fact that they are staying steady or falling for younger people.

Separating from a spouse later in life can result in depression or the onset of symptoms generally associated with depression. Those who have been in abusive relationships may have nightmares or otherwise think about what they endured while married. If a person becomes depressed, he or she may be less active or be more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as spending too much money or overeating.

The reasons why marriages don't last

According to a study in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, many divorces in Texas and around the country occur because the relationships aren't fulfilling in some way. The study asked 2,371 people who were in heterosexual relationships why their marriages came to an end. Of those who took part, 47% said that they simply were not in love with their partners anymore. In some cases, people simply didn't have feelings for their partners after many years or decades together.

A lack of communication was another reason commonly cited by the study's participants. Of those who took part, 44% said that this caused distress or other issues in their relationships. Previous research has also established that a failure to communicate can be a relationship killer. In some cases, relationships ended because a couple lost respect or trust for each other. Some believe that respect is just as important to a successful relationship as love is.

Prenups make sense where there are business concerns

The perception of prenuptial agreements has been changing for a number of years, in Texas and across the country. Where mentioning the idea a few years ago may have resulted in an argument, prenups have now become much more commonplace and less taboo. This is due at least in part to their usefulness. While no one goes into a marriage planning to divorce, having a prenuptial agreement in place before the marriage begins can alleviate a number of financial and psychological stresses if divorce becomes a possibility.

A prenuptial agreement may be especially important in cases where business interests are involved. Having a prenup allows the parties to establish what the business is worth when the marriage begins, which can be important in calculating the parties' contributions to the business if the marriage ends in divorce. The document can also set out exactly what will happen with regard to the appreciation or depreciation of the company's value during the marriage.

How "gray divorce" may hurt finances

Divorce can be difficult for people at any age, but multiple studies show that divorcing after the age of 50 causes some particular challenges. The divorce rate for people in this age group is twice as high as it was in 1990, but people in Texas who get a so-called "gray divorce" may struggle emotionally and financially afterwards.

One study found that depression rates for older people who divorced was higher than for people who were widowed. Others have associated divorce with such health risks as high blood pressure and weight gain. Financially, the toll for women can be especially serious. According to a 2017 study, women 63 and older who have been through divorce at a later age have a higher poverty rate of 27%. According to another study, the standard of living for men following a gray divorce drops 21% while the decrease is 45% for women.

Protecting children's wellbeing after divorce

Divorced Texas parents, no matter their own conflicted relationship, usually want what is best for the children. However, with the negative feelings often associated with a break up comes the possibility of exhibiting parental behavior that can negatively affect the children. It is possible to protect the emotional wellbeing of children after a divorce by keeping in mind that they have certain rights that need to be respected.

To promote children's wellbeing after divorce, parents should remember that children have the right to continue positive relationships with both their parents and, as time goes on, with any stepparents. They also have the right to decide how they want these relationships to develop, who they spend time with and how they show their affection. They should not be prevented from developing relationships with both parents and should not have to listen to one parent speak negatively about the other.

Preparing for divorce in summer

Summers in Texas bring an increased risk of divorce for many families. According to research out of the American Sociological Association, divorce filings regularly rise in August. This may be because couples spend more time together during summer vacation, exacerbating any issues they're already experiencing. Spouses who believe that their marriage is at risk during this time of year may want to prepare for the end.

Spouses can take a few practical steps at the beginning of the season to prepare for a possible separation, including speaking with an attorney and financial adviser. They should also gather any documents that will likely be needed in court. Gathering a supportive network of friends and family can help reduce stress during this difficult time. Discernment counseling may help a couple on the cusp of divorce decide which path they ultimately want to take.

How your spouse’s social media activity can impact your divorce

The interconnectedness of social media can be addicting for some. But faced with divorce, suddenly, social media could become a problem. If your spouse hasn’t been representing themselves appropriately on social media, you may be able to use this evidence against them in court.

Law Office of B. Diane Heindel, P.C.
407 E. 4th Street
Tyler, TX 75701

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Law Office of B. Diane Heindel, P.C.