3 Tips for Negotiating a Settlement in Your Gray Divorce

Posted on: 18 December 2015

Are you preparing for a divorce late in life? Such divorces, often called gray divorces, aren't uncommon. As your kids move out of the house or you approach retirement, you and your spouse may enter a new phase in your lives. You may find that while the relationship worked in past life phases, it doesn't work anymore. Kids may not be an issue in your gray divorce, but that doesn't mean that the process will be simple. A divorce later in life brings a host of other challenges, primarily related to retirement and health care. Here are three tips for negotiating your settlement:

Rethink the house. You may have a strong attachment to your house. That could be where you and your spouse built your life together, and where you raised your kids. It's understandable if you want to make a strong push to keep the home.

However, keeping the home may not be your best idea. First, consider all of the maintenance costs and upkeep requirements that come along with home ownership and whether you're ready to take on those obligations on your own. Also, understand that if you fight to keep the house, you may be giving up something else, like investments or a share of your spouse's pension. Those assets may be more useful to you in retirement.

Don't ignore health care. Was your spouse the primary breadwinner in your relationship? Did he or she provide the health care coverage? If so, that coverage could be a valuable asset. Obtaining health insurance can be more difficult and costly as you age because the chances of injury or illness are substantially higher. 

Fortunately, you can negotiate a deal that keeps you on your spouse's coverage for as long as necessary. You may want to stay on their coverage until you qualify for Medicare. Or if your spouse has a robust retirement healthcare package from their employer, you may be able to stay on it indefinitely.

Be realistic with alimony. If you've been married for a long period of time and your spouse was the breadwinner, alimony will likely be a part of your settlement. And if you feel your spouse's actions are responsible for the divorce, you may be tempted to inflict as much punishment on them as possible from a financial perspective. Those feelings are understandable.

However, the whole point of spousal support is for you to get the financial benefits you need to survive. It does't do you any good to demand an alimony payment that your spouse can't realistically afford to pay. Even if you get a sky high alimony amount, you'll likely lose out on other assets, like retirement savings. Instead, target a realistic, but sufficient, alimony amount and then focus your attention on other assets you can use to generate income.

For more information, talk to a divorce lawyer. They can help you get the best settlement deal for your situation.


Child Support Enforcement Secrets: What You Should Know

If your ex was ordered to pay child support as part of your divorce settlement, you have every reason to expect it to be paid on time. If he or she isn't meeting that obligation in a timely manner, you do have some enforcement options. Instead of struggling to get by or finding yourself fighting with your ex about getting the payments you're entitled to, you should reach out to a child support attorney who can help you take the case back to court. Your ex will have to show just cause for why he or she isn't paying or the courts will order them to catch up. I created this site to share what I've learned about child support enforcement over the years. I hope it helps you to understand your rights and the options available to you.

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