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  • Mar 12th, 2016

    Legal Issues Older Couples Who Divorce May Face


    Although the process of getting a divorce can be challenging no matter what age you and your spouse are, there are some unique issues that older couples may face. Here’s what you need to know about how a divorce can affect an elderly couple and where to get the legal support you need to come out ahead after getting divorced later in life.

    Health Insurance

    Health insurance is extremely important for older couples, and a divorce may impact your coverage or your spouse’s coverage. After your divorce is finalized, you and your spouse will each need to secure your own insurance plans. Some insurance plans, like COBRA, will allow a spouse to stay on a plan after a divorce for up to 36 months. It’s important to explore all of your health insurance options before signing the divorce papers.

    Retirement Benefits

    Social security benefits are not divisible in a divorce; however, other retirement benefits may be. If your marriage lasted more than 10 years, you may be eligible to receive a portion of your spouse’s retirement benefits. For individuals over the age of 62, you may be able to obtain benefits without your spouse receiving a reduction in his or her own benefits. A QDRO, or Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is a court order that specifically deals with retirement benefits. An attorney can help you better understand the laws concerning how to divide retirement benefits between older spouses who are getting a divorce.

    Emotional Support

    While there are many emotional challenges that arise from any divorce, elderly couples who have been married for many years may see these challenges exacerbated in their own situations. Getting adequate emotional support after a marriage ends is crucial, particularly for elderly individuals. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional divorce counselor for help managing the difficulties ahead.

    In some cases, a divorce is not necessarily in the best interest of both parties. With a legal separation, you and your spouse can end your relationship but remain legally married, therefore allowing health insurance, retirement benefits, and other matters to remain unchanged.

    A seasoned divorce lawyer can help you determine if divorce is right for you and can assist you in moving through the process of divorce or legal separation step by step. Contact the Haefner Law Office, LLC today for a consultation to discuss your unique needs by calling (314) 200-6101. We are available now to assist you.