Key Elements of a Divorce for Persons Over the Age of 50

Factors to Consider in a Divorce for Persons Over the Age of 50

As individuals after the age of 50 navigate the complexities of divorce, it’s crucial to grasp the key elements unique to their situation. This phase of life brings distinct financial, emotional, and legal considerations. Our guide aims to shed light on these aspects, offering insights and strategies tailored for those experiencing a ‘gray divorce’.

If you are a person who is over the age of fifty and considering a divorce there are factors for you to consider beyond those that younger persons would need to think about. What sort of considerations, you may be asking? The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC have identified the following as both relevant and extremely impactful examples.

Factors to Consider in a Divorce for Persons Over the Age of 50

1. Retirement Accounts

Two of our clients recently settled divorce cases where their spouse’s retirement accounts were central issues. One account was a military plan and the other was an IRA through a private company.

One client was able to leave mediation with a sizeable amount of the retirement plan awarded to her. Our other client was not as fortunate due to her not having been married to her spouse for long enough to qualify for benefits.

Texas is a community property State and contributions to a retirement account during the course of a marriage is typically classified as community property in a Texas marriage.

However, federal law on military requirement holds differently. An experienced family law attorney knows the difference in retirement plans and can advise you on what to expect out of your or your spouse’s retirement benefits.

2. Investment Income

Also known as “passive income”. Items that fall under this heading include dividends from stocks owned by either spouse and income from rental properties. Based on what the parties settle on or what a judge determines a just and equitable division, the money from investments is key to unraveling a divorce case.

3. Social Security Income

Though social security income does not fall under the normal rules associated with community property in Texas, this source of income still has an important role to play for divorcing parties over the age of fifty.

You can begin accessing these funds between the ages of 62 and 70. Eligibility to receive benefits based on your ex-spouse’s contributions to social security requires that you have been divorced for at least two years, not remarried, and fall within a specific age bracket.

4. Disability Income

A recent client of ours became disabled due to a car accident, suffering severe back injuries. Another client faced a similar situation, with severe back injuries from a car accident leading to disability.

This client wisely obtained a disability insurance policy. It now pays him and his family $9,000 monthly during his disability, as certified by an independent physician. However, in divorce cases, courts treat disability income like regular employment income, making it divisible.

These examples highlight how each divorce is unique. Long-term vision and experience in such cases distinguish Bryan Fagan, PLLC attorneys from others in Southeast Texas.

Our lawyers understand that in additional to the strictly financial aspects of a post-fifty year old divorce there are health and well being issues to contemplate as well.

Health as a Determining Factor in Divorce Asset Allocation

In Texas, courts require a minimum of ten years of marriage for a spouse to qualify for spousal support. When determining the equitable amount of spousal support, the court examines several factors, including the potential and actual earning capacities of both parties and their health.

A spouse who proves to the court that their earning potential is insufficient to support themselves and possibly their child stands a chance of receiving spousal support. On the other hand, if the health of the spouse responsible for paying support is compromised, the court might choose not to award spousal support.

Tips on How to Handle Your Post-fifty Divorce Case

What steps can a person over the age do to best ensure they are able to hit the ground running once their case is underway? Please consider the following:

Know what is going into your bank accounts and what is coming out

This may seem like common sense to the extreme but I can tell you all from experience that knowing how many bills that a person and their family have is not a given in many marriages.

During the divorce it is essential to learn where cutbacks in costs are needed. After a divorce, getting a tax professional and a financial expert in your corner can be incredibly helpful.

Keep open lines of communication with your family

Recently, the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC began representing a woman whose 43-year marriage was ending. This situation turned sadder when her adult children stopped communicating with her following the filing of the divorce paperwork.

Our client expressed to me how much her children mean to her, acknowledging their deep hurt caused by their parents’ divorce. In talking more with the client, however, I found that she was keeping information from her children about her motivations for the divorce. In this way the kids felt isolated from their mother and naturally drifted to the parent who was able to discuss the case with more honesty.

Experience, Dependability and a Client Driven Focus- Hallmarks of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC

Factors to Consider in a Divorce for Persons Over the Age of 50

With a team of seven family law attorneys on board, the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC has the sort of “boots on the ground” experience that clients need and deserve in Texas.

Putting the interests of their client first (before themselves) is a necessity for attorneys but by placing our most sincere attention on the needs of our client, we are able to hone in on what it is that will ensure our client’s best opportunity to be successful in leading a post-divorce life. Please contact our office today for a free of charge consultation with one of our family law professionals.


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  1. Key Elements of a Divorce for persons over the age of 50
  2. 7 Tips for Divorcing After Age 50 in Texas
  3. Divorcing After Age 50 in Texas: What it Can Mean for You and Your Spouse
  4. Texas Divorce and Retirement & Employment Benefits by the Numbers
  5. Is Social Security Considered Separate Property in a Texas Divorce?
  6. Will My Spouse Get Part of My Retirement in Our Texas Divorce?
  7. Husband Loves His Wife and Wants a Divorce in Texas “On Paper” for Strategic Financial Reasons?
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  10. Sex, Lies, Rock-and-roll, and Adultery in a Texas Divorce
  11. Can I Sue My Spouse for Mental Abuse in My Texas Divorce?
  12. Changing your name after a Texas Divorce
  13. Dividing a Pension in your divorce
  14. A blog post for those facing mental health problems during a divorce
  15. How can I change my name in Texas when I am getting Married or Divorced?


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