In Texas and across the United States, the past 25 years have seen the divorce rate for people over age 50 more than double, and this trend is continuing to rise. While divorce can be complex and difficult at any stage of life, carrying an array of financial, emotional and practical consequences, it can present unique challenges for people divorcing later in life after a long-term marriage. This is especially true when the couple has accumulated a significant amount of assets over the years of their marriage.
Many couples who choose to divorce later in life are dealing with complex property issues to be handled in a settlement, including dividing real estate, retirement funds, investments and other significant assets. In order to ensure that the divorce settlement is truly just and comprehensive, accurate records are essential. A divorcing spouse can create a full inventory of all of the property owned by the couple, including individual property like inheritances and jointly held assets. Another key piece of documentation is past employment records. These records can help to provide information about pension plans, stock options and other assets linked to past employment.
For couples divorcing later in life, the continuity of spousal support can be a significant concern. It may be advisable in some cases to obtain life insurance to help ensure coverage for the amount of these payments in case of death. In other cases, opting for a lump sum settlement may be preferable to traditional monthly payments.
A family law attorney may provide important counsel and representation to a divorcing spouse in any stage of life. The goal of a divorce attorney is typically to ensure that the asset division process is comprehensive and the divorce settlement is fair, giving respect to the contribution of both ex-spouses to the marriage over the years.