Senior Divorce: 4 Common Problems

Senior Divorce: 4 Common Problems

by Oct 14, 2020Divorce

Believe it or not, the divorce rate in America has been steadily declining over the last couple decades. But this decline has one notable exception: people over the age of 55. These types of divorces, commonly referred to as “grey divorces” have been on the rise since the year 2000.

When older couples get divorced, they face some unique problems that younger married couples don’t have to worry about nearly as much. The following are the most common problems in a senior divorce:

1) Financial Instability

Senior couples are often retired and living on fixed income. Getting divorced in this scenario can have a life-altering impact for both spouses that may be hard for either to recover from.

If either spouse is unable to afford to live alone, that may force them back into the workforce or to consider alternative sources of income.

2) Social Security Payments

Spouses who are over the age of 62 and who have been married for ten years or more are entitled to collect Social Security benefits through their ex’s Social Security account. These payments do not reduce the payments to the primary beneficiary.

Former spouses may also be entitled to receive Social Security survivor benefits after their ex passes away. Many senior spouses are not aware of these options and should consult with an experienced divorce attorney to find out if they qualify.

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3) Insurance Coverage

Healthcare insurance is a major issue for most seniors, and dealing with Medicare can be daunting if a spouse suddenly finds themselves single again and in need of their own coverage. After a divorce, both spouses will likely need to adjust their coverage or enroll in new coverage.

This often means working with a health insurance broker who understands the nuances of Medicare and can help a newly divorced senior through the enrollment process and explain the various conditions and benefits.

4) Long-Term Care

A senior divorce may also upend plans for long-term care. Assisted living facilities, in-home care providers, and other senior-focused care services are typically expensive and may be out of reach for seniors living on their own.

Additionally, items like estate planning, trust administration, and conservatorship will need to be reexamined if either spouse is unable to make these decisions independently.

Find A Lawyer With Experience

The best way to approach a senior divorce is to work with an attorney who has experience with the unique challenges that come with it.

At Vonder Haar Law, we know the challenges seniors face during the divorce process, and have successfully helped many clients navigate a successful resolution to the end of their marriage. To learn more about how we can help, please contact our office today.


At Vonder Haar Law Offices, we offer every client a free phone consultation to discuss their unique situation and determine how we can help. To arrange a consultation, please fill out the adjacent form or call us at: (707) 529-3200.

We provide representation in California State and Federal Courts. We accept most major credit cards for your convenience.

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