We're About More Than Divorce

How to approach a divorce objectively

After many years of marriage, couples in Oregon and elsewhere may realize that they aren’t compatible with their spouses. While the divorce rate has fallen in recent years, this is not the case for those over the age of 55. For those who are 65 and older, the divorce rate has doubled since 1990. In addition to the emotional toll ending a marriage can cause, there are also financial concerns to think about when getting a divorce later in life.

Ideally, couples will try to work out an equitable divorce settlement through mediation. Doing so could save time and money while also helping to preserve a civil relationship between former spouses. There are several issues that will need to be discussed during settlement talks such as whether either party is entitled to alimony. It will also be important to determine how assets are split and how to decide if an asset is separate or marital property.

If assets have been commingled during the marriage, they may go from being separate to marital property. For instance, an inheritance that was deposited into a joint bank account may lose its separate status. When older folks get divorced, it may be necessary to discuss how to divide a retirement plan or pension. Finally, individuals should consider obtaining Social Security benefits based on a former spouse’s work record.

If an individual chooses to get a divorce, it may be a good idea to hire an attorney to help with the process. An attorney may be able to use state law and other facts in a case in an effort to get a person a favorable settlement. This may be done through mediation or other private talks outside of court. However, a divorce may also be settled through a formal trial.