Over 50 and Divorcing – Four Things to Keep in Mind

over 50 and divorcingAre you over 50 and divorcing — or considering divorce? Getting a divorce is a difficult time in almost anyone’s life. According to a well-known list compiled by physicians to predict illness, divorce is the most stressful life event an adult goes through, second only to the death of a child. It is more stressful than imprisonment, the death of a close family member or even a serious personal injury.

Over 50 and Divorcing – Social Challenges

Getting a divorce after the age of 50 comes with its own set of challenges, both social and economic.

Adjusting to life as a single person after many years of marriage can be liberating, but also terrifying, if you haven’t been in another relationship for many years—or even if you have.

Depending on whether you were primarily responsible for caring for the children and marital home, you may be asked to enter the workforce with a résumé that has not seen the light of day for decades, and without relevant experience for anything but entry-level positions, for which you will have competition from others less than half your age.

Over 50 and Divorcing – Economic Challenges

If you were the breadwinner, prepare to pay a significant portion of your salary to your former spouse.

Another common issue is retirement planning. Where a pension or 401(k) along with social security benefits may have provided a livable retirement for two living in the same household, those same benefits may fall far short of anything resembling comfort in the future.

So, it is not surprising that when a leading family law attorney in our community was asked in an interview recently what he advises when someone is considering divorce, his response was simple: “Don’t.”


Over 50 and Divorcing — Sometimes You Don’t Have a Choice.

Sometimes you don’t have a choice. You might be the victim of abuse throughout the years, emotional or physical, so that the kids could have a stable childhood, but with the kids gone, you need to get out to live the rest of your life without the looming drumbeat of potential violence.

You might discover certain facts that prevent you from remaining a couple.

Or you might be the person who wants to hold a failing marriage together, but the other party does not.

Whatever the reason, if you find that you’re over 50 and divorcing,

there are four things that you need to keep in mind:

  1. You may own part of your spouse’s pension or retirement, that is, a part of the amount he or she will receive (or is already receiving) every month for life as a result of employment during the marriage.
  2. You may own part of your spouse’s retirement account, like a 401(k), 403(b), IRA, or TSP.
  3. If you have been married more than 10 years, you may be entitled to social security benefits equal to the one-half the amount your spouse receives, even if you did not work outside the home during marriage.
  4. While you own one-half of any business started during the marriage, even if you never set foot in the door of the business, you may have an ownership interest in a business your partner started prior to marriage.

Schedule a Confidential Strategy Session

If you are over 50 and divorcing, you can sit down with us for a confidential strategy session. This is not the ‘free consultation’ offered by many law firms trolling for clients. You are facing one of the biggest changes in your life. We offer informed counsel that is useful and practical. You will meet an attorney who will conduct a real attorney-client confidential strategy meeting. Depending upon the complexity of your marriage, we can schedule a meeting for as long as it takes to fully explore your unique situation.

Sophisticated Legal Strategy Session

You have many questions. We will answer them. Family law is our only area of practice. We will not only address your questions and concerns, but also alert you to issues you probably never even considered. When our strategy session is over, you will have a better idea of a post-divorce future, a better understanding of how your finances will be affected, and better-prepared to make an educated choice about your divorce options.

Angry and Fighting, or Amicable and Open to Compromise?

Couples who go into a divorce process angry and fighting are almost always bound to suffer unnecessary loss—both financial and emotional. This type of bare-knuckled approach is not only often needlessly expensive, it is usually very toxic for children involved. If a dissolution must take place, you should consider working toward an amicable end to your marriage. An amicable divorce can save both spouses money and significantly limit stress during the divorce process for the spouses and their children.

We Seek Cost-Effective, Amicable Dissolutions.

An amicable divorce requires a combination of services. We offer these services with California State Bar Certified Legal Specialists in Family Law. Our attorneys are skilled litigators, but we also offer an attorney with advanced mediation skills to help our clients obtain good results without unnecessary stress and fighting.

Minor children and property division is where the divorce process tends to get heated. We are expert at helping couples who have minor children work out a family plan that is inclusive of everyone’s feelings and goals.

We Make Property Division Challenges as Smooth as Possible

San Diego property division attorney Sarah T. Schaffer excels in complex property division. If your property division is straight-forward, count your blessings. If, however, you are facing complex property division, Ms. Schaffer can be a tremendous asset to you (and your soon to be ex-spouse). Sarah is called upon regularly to assist high net worth individuals, professionals, and business owners with their property division.

Our founding attorney, Sarah T. Schaffer has attained BOTH the coveted “Certified Family Law Specialist” designation and an LL.M. in taxation. Attorney Schaffer has the litigation and financial skills to help high profile couples who might be seeking discretion from the media and public scrutiny, high net worth couples who are CEOs, CFOs or small business owners. Sarah can untangle and suggest creative solutions to those couples who own multiple properties, have stock portfolios, stock options, and multiple retirement plans.

Certified Family Law Specialist, Sarah T. SchafferAttorney Sarah T. Schaffer, CFLS, LL.M can help you work out complex property division issues by finding workable solutions and creative solutions that –in the end– will prove to benefit both spouses and the entire estate by saving money that is often wasted on needless litigation. If an amicable property division can be hammered out, you will dodge the emotionally-draining, expensive, never-ending litigation that plague some couples. While endless fighting may be the goal of some attorneys who don’t want the fighting (and the invoicing) to stop, The Law Offices of Sarah T. Schaffer, APC would rather help you find the best possible path through your divorce with the least conflict, cost and anxiety.

Schedule a Divorce Strategy Session

Call (858) 509-7907 to schedule a Divorce Strategy Session with a Certified Family Law Specialist now. If you are at work, or cannot call right now, please request your Divorce Strategy Session appointment using the following form:

Certified Family Law Specialist

Visit One of Sarah's Other Sites

SanDiegoMediation.comSarahSchaffer.com