How to Divorce Later in Life

How to Divorce Later in Life

Divorce is not only for the young””and its popularity for older Americans is growing. According to statistics compiled by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, divorce after age 50 is twice as common today as it was in 1990, and divorce for those 65 or older is even more common. If you are planning on divorcing later in life, you should follow these tips.

Remain Sensitive to How the Divorce Affects Your Children

Couples sometimes stay together until their children graduate high school or college, but nothing magical happens at 18 or 22 that makes divorce easy for your children to accept. Even older children might struggle emotionally with the separation. It is simply a fact that our marriages serve as role models for our children and grandchildren, and when the model marriage blows up, you can expect your children to think they are staring into a crystal ball.

Remember to avoid asking your children to be mentors, therapists, or mediators during the divorce process. Children, even adult children, should not be asked to pick sides. For that reason, be careful about what reasons you give for divorcing. Your children do not need to know every detail of what you find disappointing in your spouse.

Talk to Someone about Your Emotions

One of the benefits of being older is less sensitivity to what other people think. Young married couples might avoid therapy because of the stigma that still attaches to talking with a “shrink.” However, you might be surprised at how deeply the divorce affects you. To work through your emotions, schedule therapy, individually or as a couple.

Among the most powerful emotions is a fear of being alone. Of course, by divorcing, you open up to the possibility of meeting someone new. You might also discover a hidden reservoir of independence that makes being alone past 50 an exciting experience.

Realize Your Ex Will Remain Part of Your Life

Young people without children might be able to split and never see each other again, but it is less likely for older couples who have been married for decades. If you have children and grandchildren, you will see your ex-spouse at family holidays and events. Even if you are childless, you probably have the same friends and belong to the same organizations. It is inevitable that you will run into your ex at some point.

Speak with an Aurora, Colorado Divorce Lawyer

In addition to the emotional aspects, divorce carries legal ramifications that you should be aware of. At Divorce Matters, we have handled countless “gray” divorces, and we are here to assist you, too. Please call us to schedule your free consultation, 720-580-6745.


The Divorce Process, Part 2: Who Is Allowed To File For Divorce?

Just because you are married and live in Colorado does not mean that you are automatically allowed to petition for divorce in the state. You must first make sure that you are following Colorado’s dissolution of marriage laws. To prevent your case from being dismissed, one thing you’ll have to make sure of is that you meet the residency requirements for divorcing in Colorado.

It is a common misconception that you must file for divorce in the state that you were married in. This is a myth; the majority of divorce cases are filed in the county in which the party petitioning for divorce lives. But it’s not enough to simply have an address in Colorado to file for a Colorado divorce. Here are the requirements, according to Colorado law:

  • The district court shall enter a decree of dissolution of marriage when: The court finds that one of the parties has been domiciled in this state for ninety days next preceding the commencement of the proceeding.
  • The dissolution of marriage may be filed in the county in which the petitioner or respondent resides. (Colorado Statutes – Article 10 – Sections: 14-10-106)

In more layman’s terms, for a divorce petition to be valid in the state, at least one spouse must have an established home in Colorado for at least 90 days. However, an established domicile does not necessarily mean a physical presence. The term “domicile” can be thought of more as a matter of intent than a matter of having a street number. This is because not all Colorado residents are present in Colorado at all times. If you work for the military, for example, and are stationed in San Diego but have had a Colorado address for longer than three months, often the courts will consider that sufficient intent to create domicile in Colorado. Other actions that indicate intent to create domicile include changing your mailing address to a Colorado address, maintaining voter registration in the state, registering your car in the state, etc., even if you are not currently present in the state.

Our Denver family lawyers seek to provide exceptional client experiences for clients throughout Colorado.