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Divorce considerations for older adults

On Behalf of | Oct 15, 2020 | Family Law |

As people age, their concerns change, particularly when it comes to finance. For people who are over 50, retirement becomes an ever more pressing concern. Older adults in New York who are facing divorce need to think differently about the process than people in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

More older adults are divorcing

Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, only about 10% of divorces were among couples over age 50. But in 2020, the number is much higher. Fully 25% of divorcing couples involve at least one spouse over the age of 50. At that age, people need to view their financial picture much differently than they would as younger adults.

Adults in their 50s may be at or near their peak earning potential, but for most people, their income will decline in their 60s and 70s. For single individuals , life is more expensive. A couple in their 50s may share mortgage or rent payments of $2,500 to $3,000. On their own, they may need to pay more than half that. In many cities, studio apartments start at about $1,500 monthly. Seniors could well find themselves paying more for less space and fewer amenities.

Making smart legal decisions in divorce

That’s not to say that older adults should stay in unhappy marriages to lower their living expenses, but during the divorce process, they need to make tough decisions. For example, selling the home and saving part of the proceeds can be more responsible than keeping the home. It’s also important for seniors to understand how much debt they have and devise a plan for paying it down. Seniors on their partner’s health insurance also need to think about how much their own policy will cost after the divorce. An experienced family law attorney may be able to walk their client through these issues.