With greater longevity, increased financial independence, and changed attitudes toward divorce, the rate of older couples choosing to part ways continues to rise. Divorces among middle-aged couples — also referred to as “gray divorces” — doubled between 1990 and 2015. In fact, one out of every four divorces now involve couples who are 50 or older.
The Law Offices of Rick D. Banks knows how difficult ending a marriage is at any age — and how much harder it can be on a family who has been together for decades. Long-term marriage divorce attorney, Rick Banks, provides compassionate counsel and high-quality legal services to clients going through divorce and is committed to helping them navigate the significant change it can bring to their lives.
While divorce is never easy, ending a marriage in middle age can be much more complicated than when you are in your 20’s or 30’s. This is because older couples have had more time to accumulate assets and property together. They may also have invested in each other’s retirement and estate planning. Healthcare matters, insurance, business interests, Social Security, and taxes are just a few other issues spouses can face when divorcing after a long-term marriage.
Child custody and support are usually not matters that must be addressed by older couples parting ways. However, long-term marriage presents a number of unique issues, including the following:
In addition, a spouse’s competency can sometimes be questioned in a gray divorce. In such cases, a competency hearing may be required. If a party does not have the ability to make legal decisions or understand the divorce proceedings, they may require the assistance of a guardian ad litem to represent their interests.
There are many nuanced issues in gray divorces, and it is best to have knowledgeable counsel who understands these matters. The Law Offices of Rick D. Banks offers reliable representation to clients who are parting ways after long-term marriages and guides them through the complexities of gray divorce.
Litigation in the courtroom isn’t always the only option to divorce. Notably, there are several alternative dispute resolution methods that spouses may utilize. Rather than allow a judge to determine the issues in your divorce, mediation, arbitration, and the collaborative divorce process can allow you to remain in control of the outcome. Not only are these methods more cost-effective than litigation, but they can also be faster and help you maintain amiability with your soon-to-be former spouse for the benefit of your family.
Mediation is conducted in a neutral setting with an emphasis placed on healthy communication and reduced conflict. During mediation sessions, you and your spouse work together with a mediator to create a settlement agreement that meets your specific needs. Unlike in divorce litigation, which takes place in a public courtroom, mediation allows you to keep the details of your divorce private and confidential. The court only receives the final settlement agreement, which is then signed and ordered by the judge.
Collaborative divorce is another non-adversarial option that allows spouses to keep their divorce matters outside of the courtroom. This process uses a team of professionals who are trained in their specific fields and can help you and your spouse reach a mutually agreed upon settlement. In addition to each party’s attorney, the collaborative team may comprise financial advisors, divorce coaches, and family specialists who can assist with finding solutions for holidays and family gatherings.
Divorce arbitration is similar in some ways to mediation in that it does not take place inside a courtroom. However, it does involve a third-party making decisions regarding your divorce case. While the process does not use a judge, arbitration is conducted like a “mini trial.” A neutral party called an “arbitrator” evaluates the evidence and hears the testimony of the parties to determine any issues that have not been resolved.
No two gray divorces are the same. The Law Offices of Rick D. Banks will discuss the facts of your case and implement a tailored strategy to accomplish your goals. Whether your divorce matter is resolved through litigation or an alternative dispute resolution method, Attorney Rick Banks strives to achieve the best possible results for every client.
Gray divorce can be emotionally and legally challenging. It’s essential to have a diligent long-term marriage divorce attorney who can advise you regarding your rights and options. The Law Offices of Rick D. Banks has been assisting clients throughout Fresno and the surrounding area with their divorce matters for more than 20 years. To schedule a no obligation consultation, call (559)222-4891.