4 Ways to Heal Emotionally After A Later Life Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsDivorce can be a traumatic and emotionally scarring experience, a gray divorce even more so. Have you recently gone through a gray divorce or are in the process of getting one? Are you struggling to cope with the emotional and psychological stress of a gray divorce? Do you want to know about coping mechanisms and ways to be happy again after the divorce?

What is a gray divorce? 

To begin with, you need to understand the concept of a gray divorce and how it is different from other divorces. When older couples over 50 years of age who have been married for many years or even decades divorce, it is called a gray divorce. This is become a phenomenon now that a greater number of older couples than before are going through divorces and choosing to lead separate lives.

Older couples are better off than young couples during and after divorce because they are usually better off financially and have adult children which does away with the need for custody rights. However, divorce can take a bigger toll on older couples who have been together a long time or when there are a lot of property- and finance-related disputes during divorce proceedings.

Healing emotionally from a gray divorce 

It can be extremely difficult for older people to heal emotionally after a divorce, especially if the divorce has been messy and complicated. Here are a few tips that can help emotional healing:

  • It is important to accept that you are divorced and not to fight the reality of the fact. Acceptance is the first step to healing emotionally from the trauma and sadness of separation.
  • You can join a support group for older divorcees if you are struggling to cope with the divorce alone.
  • Alternatively, you can join groups that cater to single older people and be a part of various activities like road trips, events, meet-ups, and even dating.
  • Indulging in activities that you enjoy, be it painting, traveling, reading, or anything else, can be highly rewarding and can help cope with divorce and the myriad emotions that accompany it.

It is important to remember that you are important and you need to love yourself and stop blaming yourself for the divorce, especially if there was no cheating and other immoral activities involved in the divorce. You deserve to be happy even if you are divorced and understanding and accepting this can help you heal emotionally.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

The Rate Of Gray Divorces Is On The Rise

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsIn 2016, the rate of gray divorces rose by three times than gray divorces in 1990. More couples above the age of 65 are heading for courtrooms to get divorced. Experts have cited many reasons for this trend and some of them include the changing laws, evolving status of women in society and less stigma associated with divorces.

Reasons for gray divorces

The rise of gray divorces cannot be limited to any one reason. There are different speculated causes for the rise in gray divorces. The rise does not necessarily indicate that older people are discontent with their marriages. Today’s lifestyle and the change in outlook has made it possible for more and more older people to head for a divorce. Previously, divorcees were often faced with social stigma and divorces were looked upon as embarrassments. But things have changed and getting a divorce has become more common than it used to be.

Probably the most important reason for the rise in gray divorces is the evolving status of women.  Women have become an important part of the work force and they are choosing a life that makes them more independent. Women have become less dependent on their male counterparts in terms of finances and it is probably why women make up the majority of people who initiate gray divorces.

Another reason for gray divorces is the change in state laws which has made it easier for couples to get a divorce. Previously, laws concerning divorces especially gray divorces were tough and many couples did not want to go through such a rigorous process. But now individual states have relaxed divorce laws and most couples can now head for an easy divorce.

Impact of divorces at a later stage in life

Divorces can be a difficult process both in terms of emotions and finances. Asset division during a divorce can be a major problem if the number of assets and property is high. Young couples may find it relatively easy because the number of assets amassed will be substantially less than those of older couples. For gray couples, getting a good lawyer should be their first step when getting a divorce.

Conclusion

Gray divorces are on the rise due to the changing social lifestyle for both men and women. Women have now become independent and feel that getting a divorce at a later stage in life can actually be beneficial for them.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Mediation For Younger Couples Compared To Gray Couples

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsDivorce is a time of great hardship and both individuals have a hard time dealing with the reality. However, for some it is easier to accept the fact more than others. For young couples, who haven’t stayed married for a longer time, dealing with divorce is relatively easier than for gray couples. For gray couples, a divorce is more than just a physical separation from their partner. It is a new way of life and for some it can be very tough. Also, there is the question of property and asset separation which is more likely to be much more difficult for gray couples than for young couples.

Mediation is commonly used in divorce cases to ensure that the whole thing goes smoothly. But mediators might use different approach for young and gray couples because the issues are different.

Mediation for young couples

Lawyers who mediate young couples will often focus on the importance of marriage rather than a divorce. Often, mediators will offer couples to go for a separation instead. Since, the marriage period is small, a separation might help them understand what it means to stay apart from each other. Also, mediators will discuss the pros and cons of getting a divorce at an early stage. If the mediator becomes convinced that reconciliation is not possible, then he will focus on the advantages of getting a divorce. It is expected that younger couples won’t have children or much property and therefore, the divorce becomes much easier.

Mediation for gray couples

Gray couples have spent a longer time in marriage and their decision to divorce must be a strong one. However, mediators will often ask couples to reconsider the case and look for options to avoid a divorce. Most gray couples will have children and their assets and properties will also be huge. On top of that there will be the issue of taxes. So, overall, things like child custody, property division, alimony, tax and debt will play a major part in the divorce.

Conclusion

Mediation is important for every couple planning to get a divorce. However, not every couple will require the same type of mediation. For younger couples, the approach will be slightly different than it will be for gray couples. Things like huge assets, child custody, tax and debt won’t be a big issue for young couples as it will be for gray couples. Mediators must consider every factor before mediating.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Dividing Retirement Plans During A Late-Life Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsLate life divorces are increasing in number as more and more people live longer.  A recent study has revealed that one in every four divorces are late-life divorces. Like any divorce, a late-life divorce can be hard hitting on the financial front. But a late-life divorce could ruin people with the best retirement plans.

The cost of living separately is much higher than the cost of living together as the number of accommodations and facilities double. In simpler words, an elderly couple that have been together for a long period of time would have likely planned their retirement together. When a divorce is filed, one of the spouses will have to move out and more often than not, have to plan separate occasions to meet other family members. All of this, could drive expenses up by 30 or 40 percent.

Anyone involved in a divorce will tell you that it is one of the most expensive scenarios to deal with. For people aged 50 or over, this could spell the destruction of their financial plan altogether. A financial planner or advisor needs to be consulted in order to understand the circumstances. This is especially true, if one of the spouses handled the finances throughout the marriage.

In some cases, retirement benefits might be more valuable than all of the couple’s other community property combined. This might form conflict on the division of the benefits. Some forms of benefits such as social security, military compensation, and workers’ compensation for disability are not considered to be community property and will remain with the individual after divorce.

Retirement Allocations

In California, retirement is considered to be community property that can be divided amongst both spouses. However, retirement divisions are handled outside of the usual divorce proceedings. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) outlines the division of the retirement funds.  It is usually filed after the divorce judgment. The QDRO is needed to divide 401k, 403b, profit-sharing plans, tax sheltered annuities and other aspects.

During divorce proceedings, the QDRO calls for the equal division of retirement assets. However, mediation and negotiation can help spouses agree on different rates or division percentages. The QDRO  is the final indicator of division of retirement benefits. Divorce attorneys often hire QDRO specialists to help segregation and division. Once both parties have agreed on the division of benefits, a QDRO is filed.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Some Benefits Of Divorce After Long-Term Marriage

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsFor one of the spouses in a long-term marriage, there can be benefits of divorcing after such long-term marriage versus divorcing after a short marriage over the other spouse.

You stay in California and you want to get divorced. But you have not completed 10 years of marriage. Well, maybe you should before you think about a divorce, unless of course you need that divorce urgently. If you do plan on hanging around for a little while and if you are eligible then there are lots of benefits. According to the 10-year rule in California there are many benefits which you can get if your marriage lasted for a decade. The rule has been misinterpreted by many as a means of making money after divorce but it is not so. The rule makes sure that the under-earning spouse in the relationship is not completely ignored.

Alimony

The alimony depends a lot of the duration of marriage. If you earn lower than your spouse, then the court will let you enjoy spousal benefits from your partner, provided the income gap is big. The longer your marriage, the more chances that spousal support becomes permanent. If you have been out of job for a long time, then the court will order for a rehabilitative alimony so that you can find yourself a job. Courts want the under-earning spouse to improve his/her earning to a level where he/she can sustain himself/herself.

Marital home

The court assumes that couples who have been married for a long time don’t have to pay mortgage. If you are one of them then you have a lot to cheer. Paying off the mortgage means having an asset that is free of liens. But if you still have mortgage then it must be cleared off by the spouse who will keep the house. The house will be refinanced such that there is sufficient amount to pay off the lien and provide the other partner with half of the house value.  Sometimes, when the income of one spouse drops down to practically nothing after selling the house, the court may directly award it to the other spouse.

Social security

In some case, you might receive benefits from the Social Security Administration after your divorce after a long marriage. But it depends a lot on your spouse and how much he/she will earn on retirement. Sometimes, you will receive the benefits during your retirement age.  If you are eligible then you might receive half of it. But these benefits are only applicable if you choose to stay unmarried after your divorce.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

The Impact of Wills & Death in California Divorces

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Riverside divorce attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsDivorce affects many different avenues in an individual’s life. Relationship is one area that affected a lot but apart from that some of the important areas that face an impact are property, finances, children, and jobs. There is one other important factor that gets affected from a divorce and that is your will. What will happen to your will when you get a divorce especially when you have named your spouse as the heir of your property? Or even worse, god forbid if you die during a divorce proceeding, what will happen to your will then? There are many questions that can arise in respect to your will and it is very important that such questions be addressed.

Divorce and will

California law prevents former spouses from benefitting from an inaccurate will. The California court of law will cross out the name of your spouse and consider the names of other people in the will. In certain cases, it is presumed that your spouse is deceased and acts accordingly. If the will is not handled by the court, there is no guarantee that such laws will be applied. But if the will is overlooked by the court, which in most cases is what happens, then the laws stay.

Getting divorced after making a will

In California, the law mentions that if after a will is executed the testator’s marriage is annulled or dissolved, the annulment or dissolution revokes … any appointment of property made to the former spouse by the will. It means that if your will mentions your spouse getting a certain amount of money or property even after your divorce, he/she is entitle to it. But if no such thing is exclusively mentioned then under no circumstances will your spouse receive anything from you. It is also true for any gifts that your spouse might have expected to get from you.

Death or Separation during divorce

If, during your divorce proceeding, you or your spouse die then the will stays as is. If the will mentions you or your partner receiving certain gifts, then you will receive them despite what your spouse would have wanted. The laws for separation is the same as those for marriage. Your spouse can still be revoked from the will if you stay separately and file for a divorce.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Things To Know About Divorcing In Your Senior Years

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsIn recent years, the rate of divorces of people aged above 50 has doubled. Because of the age of people involved in a divorce, the separation is called ‘gray divorce’. Senior people heading for a divorce no longer raise eyebrows.

Family law experts provide some valuable information about late life or gray divorces. These are mentioned below.

Alimony 

Alimony or spousal support is always guaranteed when a long term marriage breaks up. Unlike younger divorcing couples, the lower earning spouse in a gray divorce will generally be awarded alimony for life. Younger people get only temporary alimony. The lower earning spouse receives financial support only for some time in the case of the younger divorcees.

Retirement earnings 

Retirement money is going to get divided between the two separating spouses. No matter what the type of divorce is (legal separation, uncontested, no fault, contested), the retirement assets and funds will be divided evenly.

Some spouses may get offered more than their share of the pension from their separating spouse. In such an instance the question of paying alimony disappears. But accepting more pension and no alimony is not a good idea in some instances. Retirement earnings from your spouse can potentially become a taxable income.

Child custody, support and visitation 

In a gray divorce, the children are, in most cases, mature adults. As a result, child custody, child support and visitation rights do not need to be considered. But the divorced parents may continue providing financial support to their adult children. Although the financial support is not a part of the divorce agreement.

Division of property 

Women generally do not want to give up their marital home. But it is advisable that they do so because financially it makes more sense that way. If you keep the house, your husband will get something that will allow him to pay you less alimony or a smaller share of the pension. Either way you will be at a loss. Keeping a house will mean paying property taxes, maintenance expenditures and other costs that will eat into your financial resources.

Prenuptial agreement 

Family law experts believe that it is best to sign a prenuptial agreement. Without one, a gray divorce can cause the depletion of all your retirement savings.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Things to Know About Divorcing In Your Senior Years

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsIn recent years, the rate of divorces of people aged above 50 has doubled. Because of the age of people involved in a divorce, the separation is called ‘gray divorce’. Senior people heading for a divorce no longer raise eyebrows.

Here is some valuable information about late life or gray divorces:

Alimony

Alimony or spousal support is always guaranteed when a long term marriage breaks up. Unlike younger divorcing couples, the lower earning spouse in a gray divorce will generally be awarded alimony for life. In gray divorces, the parties might both be retired and have an equal income from retirement accounts and investments.

Retirement earnings

Retirement money is going to get divided between the two separating spouses. No matter what the type of divorce is (legal separation, uncontested, no fault, contested), the retirement assets and funds will be divided evenly.

Some spouses may get offered more than their share of the pension from their separating spouse. In such an instance the question of paying alimony disappears. But accepting more pension and no alimony is not a good idea in some instances. Retirement earnings from your spouse can potentially become a taxable income.

Child custody, support and visitation

In a gray divorce, the children are, in most cases, mature adults. As a result, child custody, child support and visitation rights do not need to be considered. But the divorced parents may continue providing financial support to their adult children. Although the financial support is not a part of the divorce agreement.

Division of property

Women generally do not want to give up their marital home. But it is advisable that they do so because financially it makes more sense that way. If you keep the house, your husband will get something that will allow him to pay you less alimony or a smaller share of the pension. Either way you will be at a loss. Keeping a house will mean paying property taxes, maintenance expenditures and other costs that will eat into your financial resources.

Prenuptial agreement

Family law experts believe that it is best to sign a prenuptial agreement. Without one, a gray divorce can cause the depletion of all your retirement savings.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation