Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” Is there some property that the judge cannot divide?”
It used to be that if a couple made it far enough down the road of marriage, they’d be especially likely to stick it out, literally, until death forced their parting. A quarter century ago, just ten-percent of divorces in the United States involved divorcees who were over the age of 50. Now that figure is 40 percent, according to researchers at Bowling Green State University. That amounts to more than 600,000 divorces involving over-50 divorcees in 2010 alone.
Many couples—or perhaps one-half of couples—know they want a divorce long before taking the proverbial plunge. One 53-year-old divorcee, interviewed by Yahoo Finance, said she knew she wanted to get divorced years ago, when her 19-year-old daughter was still a toddler. Her daughter required day-to-day medical care, and the woman did not believe she could care for her on her own. She waited until her husband retired so that she could collect some of his pension.
Divorcing late—or later—in life raises some unique issues for potential divorcees. Certified planner Jean Ann Dorrell cautions those nearing or passing the half-century age to consider the challenging financial and other issues such divorcees may face.
One common issue is who gets the house? Many young couples may not own real estate; many older couples do. An investment in real estate is usually a couple’s largest, and the investment involves more than numbers. It is a home where children may have been raised, where the best (and worst) of times may have occurred, where someone has fled for years for comfort from the so-called slings and arrows of life. Can a couple facing divorce work together to sell the house and divide the proceeds? If one spouse decides to let the other spouse keep the house, who pays the mortgage? These are issues that need to be addressed.