Some studies have shown that while the divorce rate across the country has decreased, the number of couples over 50 who are divorcing continues to rise.
Many people in the Los Angeles area who are over 50 may be contemplating or in the middle of a senior divorce. By senior divorce, we refer to a divorce between people who are at the end of their careers and may well even be in retirement.
Sometimes, senior divorces may also involve couples who have been married for decades.
To some extent, senior divorces are like any other divorce in that the same California laws apply, including the community property laws regarding property division.
On the other hand, senior couples may at the time of their divorce have acquired a lot of wealth between them. They also may have that wealth invested in several different types of property, including real estate and various investment accounts.
The financial situation of the couple can make property division challenging and complicated.
The flip side is that senior divorces tend not to involve child custody and child support questions as frequently as divorces among younger couples.
Common senior divorce issues
Every senior divorce is unique, and this is one reason why a person going through one should consider speaking with an experienced family law attorney.
However, some common issues tend to crop up during a senior divorce.
For example, even after a split, the former spouse of a person entitled to Social Security benefits can still draw on that person’s benefits after the divorce. This is true for any marriage that lasted at least 10 years. Likewise, the former spouse might receive survivor benefits.
Couples should take this circumstance into account when negotiating how they will divide property.
Likewise, the division of retirement plans, like pensions and 401(k)s and other retirement or healthcare-related benefits may be an important issue for an older couple going through a divorce.