Retirement isn’t only a time for relaxation and settling down to enjoy life. As people in North Carolina and throughout the United States enjoy longer, more active and healthful retirement periods, their rate of divorce has increased over the years. The divorce rate for couples above the age of 50 has grown by 50 percent since 1987 and is continuing on an upward trend. Even though the overall American divorce rate for couples has declined in the same period, one out of four couples divorces after the age of 50. Departure from the workplace and the exit of adult children from the family home can help to bring existing fissures and tensions in a marriage to the forefront.
However, couples over 50 considering divorce also have specific concerns about the financial and logistical aspects of ending the marriage, especially those who have significant assets. Retirement planning and property division can be particularly complicated in a divorce that happens close to or after retirement. When a long-term relationship comes to an end, couples that have been married for a long time often have extensive shared investments and accounts on which both parties are planning to rely on for their retirement lifestyles.
Of course, many emotional issues often accompany the financial challenges a divorce brings. Many older couples have an extensive social network of family and friends that have become deeply accustomed to their relationship over the years, and the reactions of children and other loved ones to the plans for divorce can add additional stress to the situation.
For an individual of any age considering divorce, a family law attorney is a critical resource in seeking representation and receiving counsel for all of the issues related to the end of a marriage. A lawyer can provide advice regarding managing the separation of financial accounts and ensure that his or her client’s interests are protected and well represented in a divorce settlement.