Mon, Nov 2, 2009
It has been decades since you were first married. Over the years, both you and your partner have grown apart, but thought it was too late to start afresh. You settled into your empty routine and just accepted it as your fate. Unexpectedly, your spouse asks for a divorce. Although you have been unhappy for several years, you did not know what you would do otherwise and did not consider divorce as an option. As times have changed, couples who have been married for decades decide they want to lead fuller lives with a different partner. Free of the restrictions of children, and feeling like they have paid their dues, they want to live out their senior years with a more compatible partner. Happiness is on their agenda. So you are left wondering what you will do with yourself.
If you find yourself in this position, or you know you are heading down this road, here are a few tips to either begin your new life or start planning for one. Having a plan and knowing what to do first will make this process a lot easier on you.
In our society we can not get by without credit, so establish your own credit. Make sure you have a least one credit card in your name. This way, if your spouse cancels your cards you will have your own credit card. Make sure it is not a prepaid card. Any one of the major credit cards will suffice.
During a long marriage, usually, you build up some type of assets. This means you must have a list of all types of assets your spouse has acquired over the years. Bank accounts, stock options, account numbers, all of the above must be well documented. You must know all of the professionals who handle your assets in order to protect yourself if the unthinkable occurs.
You need to have a cash fund in order to survive on while the divorce is in progress until you come to a settlement. You need to also think of lawyer retainer fees, which vary according to where you live. NY attorneys on average want $10,000 as their beginning retainer fee. Alabama lawyers on the other hand may only need $1,000 to take on your case. Educate yourself and estimate what the overall cost to you would be and find a way of putting your money aside.
20% of people who get marriage counseling have been married for over 30 years.
Thus, do not think you will not be part of a growing statistic. If you or your spouse is unhappy, there is nothing stopping you from separating to live out your golden years happily. If that day comes, or does not, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.