Each new decade brings unique experiences and emotional adjustments in life. In fact, you can probably recall various thoughts, milestones and even worries that accompanied each of your birthdays ending in zeros. What you were thinking and feeling at 20 is likely quite different from your thoughts at age 40 or 50. Of course, this is natural. Life is a journey, and various things including career, marriage, and/or having and raising children significantly impact who you are as a person and what your personal goals happen to be.
Sometimes, however, something unexpected comes your way that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and unsure where to turn for support. Many people in Colorado who reach their middle-age years are caught off-guard when their spouses suddenly come home after 20 or 30 years of marriage saying they are filing court papers for divorce. If this sounds familiar, you are definitely not alone. Studies show major increases in divorces after age 50 throughout the nation. The fact that others share similar experiences, however, doesn’t make it easier to navigate your own situation.
Major issues of divorce after 50
Just as your dreams, goals and experiences at 25 are different from those you had a decade or so later, issues spouses over 50 face in divorce also vary from those of younger couples. Following are some of the main concerns people your age have regarding divorce:
- Proof of financial contribution: Many spouses who gave up careers to stay home full time and raise children find themselves facing serious challenges when asked to prove their own financial contributions to their marriages during divorce proceedings.
- To keep or sell the house: While it often seems logical to keep the house for the sake of your children when you are their primary caregiver, you could wind up bearing tremendous financial strain when housing market values fall and/or expenses pile up regarding maintenance and household repairs.
- Sudden need for regular income: It can be extremely difficult to re-enter the workforce after decades spent at home. Even if you work from home, your income might not be sufficient to sustain yourself and your children without relying on your spouse’s full-time income.
- Personal identity crisis: Truly, one of the most challenging aspects of divorce after 50 is emotional and psychological in nature. Many people in your situation find themselves struggling to establish identities beyond those with which they associate from decades of marriage and parenthood.
Divorce after 50 can be especially challenging because spouses have decades more memories, financial issues and other matters with which to contend when separating the ties that bind them. Many go on to live successful and happy lives with help from various support networks as they go through the process of divorce. Often, relying on a trusted friend and confidant is a tremendous asset. Discussing a particular situation with a priest or other faith leader can also be a great help.
With regard to complicated financial matters, estate planning issues, retirement assets and other elements of divorce, an experienced Colorado family law attorney can provide sound counsel and effective representation to help a concerned spouse protect his or her best interests and prepare a financially stable future.