Divorce After 50: The Same Problems As Divorce At 30

divorce after 50By Jennifer M. Paine

Michigan Divorce Lawyer

My previous divorce article discussed the unique problems associated with waiting until you are older to get an inevitable divorce.

Many people believe divorce is easier when you’re older and the kids are grown, but many troubles exist whether you are 30 or 50 when you divorce.

While one of the largest obstacles in a divorce – child custody – is out of the way for older couples, the process of divorce is not necessarily easier.

In fact, the divorce process is often just as complicated, if not more complicated, the longer a marriage lasts.

There are many of the same procedures, such as the filing, the service, the pretrial conference, the investigation process, the settlement negotiations, the voluntary or court-ordered mediation, and the trial preparation.

Subpoenas go to employers whether the spouse is married with kids or married and not supporting any kids. Witnesses are still interviewed. The same meetings before trial take place.

Granted, there is no parenting evaluation, no interviewing the children for their custodial preference, and no child custody battle.

But that does not mean a couple simply says “I want a divorce,” and – poof! – it’s done. Your mens divorce attorney will still have work to do, much of it the same whether or not children are involved.

Child custody may not be an issue in your divorce if you wait, but that does not mean your children will stay out of it. They will question you, and, if anything, they will be hurt more that you waited and “kept up a sham” or lied to them when they were younger.

In some states, you will still be liable for child support for children in college or children with developmental or physical handicaps. And, in all states, they may still be called as witnesses to testify for or against you.

Emotional baggage is another. You might expect older, wiser adults to have wiser divorces, but that is simply untrue. Unless it is a truly mutual endeavor, which is rare, one spouse will be upset that the other spouse lied for years waiting for the “right” time to divorce. This translates to an unwillingness to settle and a desire to do battle at trial.

Alimony is another. You might expect a judge to decide that two spouses who are older, retired or retiring, in relatively good health and not required to support children, should accept living a down-sized retired lifestyle from pensions and alimony.

Not so. The judge will attempt to maintain a marital standard of living and will not expect both spouses to accept a retired lifestyle just because the one who wants a divorce wants to retire. This means that one ex-spouse, usually the husband, has to continue to work to support the other even though he intended to retire.

But never fear! All is not lost if you waited until later in life to divorce. My next divorce article will outline what steps to take to protect yourself in the event you waited until an older age to get a divorce.


“Divorce After 50” Articles:

Divorce After 50: Why It’s More Complex

Divorce After 50: The Same Problems As Divorce At 30

Divorce After 50: How To Protect Yourself


Jennifer M. Paine is a Michigan Divorce Lawyer with Cordell & Cordell. She is licensed to practice in Michigan, and has been admitted pro hac vice in Illinois, Ohio, and the United States Court of Federal Claims.

Ms. Paine received her BA in English and Mathematics from Albion College and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She received her Juris Doctorate from MSU College of Law and graduated Summa Cum Laude.

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