Divorce over 50 has its own complexities

While divorce is often associated with younger people, statistics show that in Michigan and across the United States, an increasing number of divorces happen later in life. Over the past 25 years, the rate of divorce for Americans over the age of 50 has more than doubled, and that rate is continuing along that upward trend. While divorce at any age is accompanied by a wide range of emotional, practical and financial concerns, this can be especially true when the divorce involves people who have had a lengthy marriage stretching across decades.

Over a partnership of such length, it is common for people to accumulate significant financial assets, including real estate, retirement plans and investment accounts. When people choose to divorce later in life, they may be dealing with a complex financial relationship and many assets. This requires significant attention to detail in order to fully understand the financial picture and secure a just divorce settlement. One factor that can be important in divorce negotiations is a comprehensive inventory of the property that belongs to the couple.

Another important document in a divorce can be a record of past employment. Reviewing prior employment for both partners can help bring a number of assets to light, including pension plans, defined benefit plans and stock options accumulated on the job. Spousal support can also carry some specific concerns about longevity; taking out additional life insurance on the paying spouse can be one way to help ensure that the payee receives the full benefit of their awarded support.

Throughout a complex divorce, a family law attorney may provide important counsel and representation to sort through the financial issues at play as well as advocate for the interests of their client. A lawyer may be able to help their clients achieve a just settlement that reflects both parties' contributions over the years.