Divorce is probably one last thing you would expect at your fifties. However, statistics show that the number of people getting divorced in their fifties has more than doubled since the 1990s.
There are several factors that are attributed to this trend. One of such factors is improved healthcare. Once children have moved out of the house and both partners have probably retired, the buffer of family life and marriage is removed. This means that all the underlying problems related to marriage resurface and become difficult to ignore. In addition to that, divorce has lost the stigma that it carried in the previous years.
However, not many people find it easy to move on after a divorce after 50 years of marriage. There is a plethora of things you will have to deal with such as financial, emotional and legal that you will have to deal with. The following are tips to help you get through a divorce after 50.
Get a good lawyer
Carry out your homework and find the best legal counsel for your Divorce. Some people make the mistake of getting inexperienced or uncertified lawyers – hence jeopardizing the process. Ensure that you hire a board-certified family lawyer with adequate experience. Hiring a family lawyer early will help you deal with an important issue such as how your property will be distributed and forth.
Do not sign the Divorce papers before until all your finances have been fully divided
This is one mistake that most women do – they sign off the divorce paperwork with the assumption that their husbands will stick to the agreement of offering additional support or pay debts jointly. Unfortunately, most women who made such assumptions never receive any support. They were left to fend for themselves and bear the blemishes on their credit cards.
First of all, you need to understand that even if you have court documents ordering your spouse to pay items together, creditors will come looking for you when your spouse defaults. The only way to be safe if to safe has everything promised in the divorce papers separated – if possible. Also, ensure that any retirement assets due via QDRO are transferred to your name.
Let go the blame game and bitterness
It doesn’t matter who initiated the divorce process, it’s always important to understand that bitterness and blame game won’t solve anything. The worst thing about anger and bitterness is that it doesn’t hurt the other person but yourself. It’s like taking poison and expecting your spouse to die.
If you realize that you are bitter and angry about the divorce, if you feel that your spouse has been unfair to you – you must bring yourself to the reality of things. You must accept that this is happening. Coming to terms with the divorce and letting go of the bitterness in your heart will help you move on quickly after the divorce.
Connect with your adult children
Many people often underestimate the effect of divorce on their children. Divorce can affect adult children the same way it affects young children – sometimes even more. If for instance, you were the one who started the divorce, you might feel guilty and try to soften that guilt by justifying your decision. That’s not necessary because it might be counterproductive. Just maintain the parent-child relationship and be sensitive to their needs.
One mistake that people make after divorce is to try and get into relationships immediately. Take time to know yourself better by engaging in meaningful activities. Think of some of the things you loved doing while you were still young and engage in them. For example, if you loved playing or singing – take advantage of the free time you have now to play or sing.
Join support a group
This is also a great way of dealing with a divorce at 50. Seek friends who are undergoing the same situation as you. Sharing your experience as they also share theirs, brings about acceptance and healing within. Open up about the things you fear about the divorce.