The number of couples over 50 experiencing the JOY of DIVORCE Emancipation continues to rise. The biggest concern for many people of this age getting divorced is how will it affect any nest egg or retirement. Couples accruing assets during a marriage in a community property state like Texas will likely equally share in all marital assets unless there was a binding prenuptial agreement or fault in the breakup of the marriage. If the union was a long one, the number of marital assets could be substantial, which can seriously impact one's retirement plans.
There has been much discussion in family law circles about the rise of so-called “gray divorce.” It is noteworthy because couples over 50 years are the only demographic where the numbers continue to rise.
Various large metropolitan areas recently held parades to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City. That June 29, 1969, protest marked the beginning of the LGBT&Q rights movement, yet it was 46 years almost to the day that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state bans (including here in Texas) on same-sex marriage in 2015.
Divorce is one of the most difficult challenges that many of us will face. So regardless of how hard we try, it is likely that one's divorce will impact his or her ability to do their job. Along with taking off time for court or meetings it will also be harder to focus as well as meet deadlines or sales goals.
It can be challenging to keep one’s personal life from intersecting with one’s professional life during a divorce. The task becomes impossible when a spouse loses their job while going through the process. Regardless of whether it is a client or their spouse, there are immediate concerns about how this affects negotiations as well as the final settlement.
Divorce rates have flattened out or gone down in most age groups. However, couples over the age of 50 are the exception – in the 1990s, 1 in 10 couples in this age group filed for divorce, but now it is 1 in 4 with experts predicting it will become increasingly common. Known as the “grey divorce”, this phenomenon involves couples who raised a family, grew apart over the years or have different goals for how to spend their final years, whether it is starting a business, traveling more, relaxing or maintaining the current course.
People react to the pressure of conflict in different ways, and it may not even be consistent with who they are. For example, a calm and logical person may become irrational and angry during a high-conflict divorce.
The Bezos divorce has been followed by many around the world for a good reason. As the world's richest couple, the settlement is a massive division of $138 billion in assets. However, the complexity of the Bezos divorce means that it impacts business interests in Amazon, the Washington Post, Whole Foods and other businesses in which the couple has an interest. There is also the fact that the couple, who had been married for 25 years, had no prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Finally, there was the division of marital assets in the couple's home state of Washington, which like Texas, is a community property state where assets are typically divided equally.
The circumstances surrounding divorce are as unique as the individuals involved. While one couple may approach it as the end of a business partnership, others end up in court because the two sides cannot agree on one or several important issues. If there are disagreements, it may be necessary to use an expert witness to either provide knowledgeable information to a judge or strengthen a case during the discovery process.
There are a million details that need to be ironed out when one gets divorced. While determining a parenting plan and dividing the assets are at the top of the list, it is a mistake to put the task of changing your passwords at the bottom of the list. We have recently talked about being aware of one's digital footprint during the divorce process, but digital security experts believe it is also a smart idea to change passwords for any digital account that your ex-spouse no longer needs access to.