The rise in divorce rates for people over 50 has become more and more apparent over the past few decades. But how do you start over? How do you best handle it all?
Later-in-life divorce is by no means any easier or less stressful than divorce in your younger years. In fact, it presents an array of unique challenges and considerations that earlier divorce doesn’t see.
With years, possibly decades of history together, separated couples can feel that divorce unravels and unsettles the normality of their lives. And it’s true: divorce can impact you emotionally, financially, socially and legally – particularly after a long-term marriage.
But it doesn’t have to get you down. If you manage it in the right way, you can make it significantly less stressful and get on with your life, without letting it affect you as a person.
First things first: don’t rush anything. All your decisions, from the beginning to the end of the process when it is all finalised, should be well thought out, with every aspect carefully considered to ensure it’s the best option for you.
By giving yourself time to think everything through, you will feel organised and in control, whatever the circumstances. This will help you and your spouse to handle the situation in a civil and mature manner, and most importantly with a clear head. Rushed decisions only lead to higher stress levels, which you don’t need in a time like this.
Aid your happiness
It’s important that you don’t let the divorce proceedings devour all of your time – and your thoughts. You need to put aside time to do things that make you happy. For example, it can be beneficial to spend some time focussing on your friends and family in this difficult time – you don’t need to be dealing with this alone.
Perhaps you can take up a new hobby; a sport or a crafts club. Not only will it take your mind off everything that’s going on, but it will also give you a chance to meet new people. We recommend refraining from dating before the divorce is finalised as this can complicate things slightly, slowing down the process.
Understand your pension
Divorces can bring on issues with your pension, so it is more than worthwhile to spend time getting to grips with your pension. If you want to decipher the right choice of pension for you and your current situation, you need to be able to understand pensions as well as the range of options that are open to you as a divorcee.
Manage your finances
After being married for a long time, there are certain financial matters that need to be addressed if that marriage ends. Money and financial agreements are where divorces can get complicated, and sometimes unpleasant, which is exactly why you should keep on top of it all from the outset.
Complications include things like joint bank accounts or when one spouse has been financially dependent on the other. Take time to assess your options, and to understand your current and future financial situation to avoid any nasty surprises along the way.
Adjust your will
It’s really important that you adjust your will, or write a new one after a divorce. It may be the last thing you want to do when going through a divorce, however, it’s likely your will that you wrote during the marriage may not be appropriate anymore. You may no longer want him or her to benefit from under the terms of your will.
Make a plan for your children
Children are a huge factor in many divorces, whether they are younger or older. Complications can arise from educational and other financial matters when children are involved, such as funds for school or university and the options for general living situations.
You must also remember how they will feel about the divorce too. If you have children, it won’t only be you and your spouse going through a difficult time. Make time to listen to them, and they’ll make time to listen to you.
Get professional advice
All the facts and figures can be very overwhelming, and you should never feel like you’re on your own. Having your family and friends beside you is one thing, but having professional advice from a specialist or a qualified family lawyer is a helpful support.
Seeking professional guidance will guarantee that you are fully in-the-know about everything that you need to be, giving you the answers you need to help you make the best decisions for you, your circumstances and your future.
If you’d like to find out more about getting professional advice for your divorce, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Attwood and Co – we’d be happy to help.