The overall rate of divorce has reportedly been on a decline in Minnesota and throughout the nation. There's an exception, however. If the year you were born is between 1946 and 1964 (i.e. the baby boomer generation) not only are you at great risk for divorce, but the rate of divorce among your age group has more than doubled in the past 20 years.
People now commonly refer to filing for divorce later in life as "gray divorce." The actual process for petitioning the court and choosing an option to achieve a settlement follows the same path as it would had you navigated the system at a younger age. However, a late-life divorce may have several implications that couples who are younger might not experience, so it's helpful to talk to someone who has gone through a similar experience before you head to court.
Gray divorce issues you should know about
The following list includes information that pertains to divorce in general, but particularly to those who are dissolving a marriage at age 54 or beyond, especially those whose marriages lasted several decades:
- Gray divorce definitely has financial implications, as it can be difficult to transition to a single financial lifestyle after so many years. However, while alimony is typically temporary in divorces obtained earlier in life, the court may order it for a lifetime in a late-life situation.
- Pensions and retirement funds will be part of property division proceedings. It is critical that you understand what you're entitled to, so that you can negotiate a maximum settlement.
- The court wants to make sure you and your spouse each receive a fair share of the assets you acquired during marriage. If you are determined to retain ownership of your home, for instance, then you must prepare to hand over assets of equal value to your spouse.
- Financial support of children in a divorce taking place at a younger age is typically part of custody proceedings. If you have adult-age children, such support becomes more of an estate planning issue than something that you would write into the terms of your divorce settlement.
From assets and liabilities, to taxes, banking issues, investments, business stipulations and more, getting divorced after several decades of marriage can be quite stressful. This is why most Minnesota spouses turn to experienced family law attorneys for support as they begin the process.
Independence begins before you sign the agreement
You don't have to wait until the judge issues a final decree to celebrate your independence. You have the power to make legal decisions that will affect the ultimate outcome of your situation and can enlist the aid of someone well versed in state divorce laws to help you protect your assets and best interests.