We see more and more clients in their 50’s 60, 70’s, and even 80’s who want to end their marriages as amicably as possible. These couples face financial and emotional issues that are different from those faced by younger couples. Complicated assets, financial commitments to adult children, limited income-producing years, retirement planning, and other issues often play critical roles in what is often referred to as “gray divorce.”
In addition to unique financial issues, divorcing couples who have children together will have better long-term outcomes if they have the emotional tools that will allow them to keep the animosity at a minimum and reach an agreement that allows them to maintain a cordial relationship and jointly participate in family events. Working with a team of specialized professionals helps these couples smooth the transition and provide for future needs.
What is a Divorce Team?
A divorce team is made up of divorce professionals who are trained to assist couples to get the information, support, and resources they need to make decisions that will allow each party to have the brightest future possible after divorce. They do this by combining their knowledge and expertise to help couples navigate their specific and unique situation so that each party can move forward into their post-divorce lives with more emotional and financial security.
While every couple is unique and may require different types of support and solutions to reach a divorce agreement, often a divorce team will consist of:
- Divorce Attorneys who manage and protect the legal aspects of the divorce
- Financial Specialists who provide an independent and neutral analysis of assets, cash flow, and retirement funds and strategies
- Divorce Coaches and Family Specialists who help each partner develop the emotional tools to cope with the divorce, guide them toward a plan for the future, and find solutions to allow the family unit to remain as cohesive as possible
Working together, the couple and their divorce team develop tailored solutions to negotiate divorce without litigation and without the emotional toll and financial cost often accompanying a traditional divorce.
How a Divorce Team Assists in Gray Divorce
There are many ways a divorce team helps meet the special needs of couples divorcing later in life.
1. Maintaining the Marital Lifestyle
Older adults typically have a higher net worth and complicated assets to protect when they divorce. They may have enjoyed a very comfortable lifestyle as a married couple and are concerned about whether they will be able to maintain that same lifestyle going forward if they divorce. As their earning years wind down, they will need to make their assets last through later years.
Neutral financial advisors are an essential part of the divorce team because they help to identify the best options that allow both parties to maintain their standard of living while equitably dividing real estate, savings, investments, and businesses.
2. Continuing to Financially Assist Children and Grandchildren
Many couples have made long-term commitments to their adult children and their families, such as paying for education, transferring generational wealth, or maintaining involvement in the family business. Financial advisors can find mutually beneficial solutions to help the couple maintain separate lifestyles and continue to financially assist their children and grandchildren.
3. Dealing with Emotional Issues and Stress
Divorcing later in life can be traumatic, even when both parties want the marriage to end. Each partner may have a full life with work, family, and community responsibilities. There can be a lot of fear about the future and sadness for what is gone. A divorce coach or family specialist on the divorce team can help each person manage the stress of divorce and look forward rather than dwelling on the past.
They can also help adult children and their families who experience emotional issues regarding new parental lifestyles and relationships or have concerns about how future family events will be handled.
4. Needing Privacy and Respect
After working for years to gain respect in their communities, churches, synagogues, and workplaces, older divorcing couples don’t want to risk their reputation by battling out details in court, where their divorce proceedings may be on public display. Private negotiation sessions with a divorce team can allow couples to resolve issues behind closed doors, where creative and innovative solutions can be negotiated that maintain each party’s dignity and allow them to maintain an amicable relationship.
5. Retirement Planning, Long Term Care, and Health Care
When a couple divorces after 50, any deficiencies in their retirement savings become a glaring reality. Additionally, for some couples, there is a significant difference between incomes earned in the past and incomes expected in the future. Long-term health concerns may also be coming into a clearer view. The divorce team will be able to help these couples determine how they will support themselves on reduced incomes and how to pay for long-term care and health care coverage.
A Divorce Team Helps Mature Couples Divorce with Security
Issues faced in gray divorce are challenging. An experienced divorce team can help couples divorcing later in life make decisions that offer the most financial security and provide an amicable divorce that preserves dignity.
If you would like to discuss how to end your marriage in a non-adversarial way without litigation, contact Vacca Family Law Group. Our goal is to help every couple divorce with as much financial, physical, and emotional security as possible.