3 Issues to Remember in a Late-Life Divorce

Even though the issues might not be the same, a late-in-life divorce can be just as complicated or more as one involving a young couple. There are many special issues that need to be considered when determining how to split assets and debts. To help ensure you and your spouse consider those issues, here are some situations that typically come up in a late-life divorce. 

Health Care and Medical Condition

Since you and your spouse are older, both of your health conditions factor into your divorce. For instance, if one spouse has a medical condition that affects his or her ability to make decisions, this must be considered. The court might require that a guardian is appointed for the incapacitated spouse before the divorce can be finalized. This could delay or otherwise impact your divorce. 

If both of you are retired and currently receiving Medicare, you and your spouse also have to consider whether or not both of you will be able to afford the gap coverage that is needed with Medicare. If not, how the gap is covered could become part of the divorce settlement. 

Social Security 

Social Security becomes part of your divorce if you or your spouse are 62 years of age or older. You and your spouse's benefits cannot be touched by the divorce court, but they can be considered when deciding other financial matters, such as alimony. 

For instance, if your spouse is receiving Social Security benefits, and you were married for 10 years or more, you can collect benefits, too. A judge might offset the amount of alimony your spouse is ordered to pay by the amount of your retirement benefits. Even if your spouse remarries, you can receive benefits as long you remain unmarried or after your subsequent marriage ends. 

Estate Planning

Even though you and your spouse are divorcing, there is a chance that your estates could still be linked. Because of this, you and your spouse need to also include estate planning in your divorce plans. 

A possible link is whether or not you and your soon-to-be ex plan to provide for your children and grandchildren in your wills. You and your spouse need to discuss what your plans are so that those you want to include are not left out of receiving an inheritance from one or both of you. 

To ensure that you and your spouse cover every aspect of your divorce, consult with a family lawyer