Late Life Divorce
People often mistakenly believe that people who have been married for a long time will stay together for the rest of their lives. Divorce later in life is becoming more common, however, as older couples who are no longer compatible are choosing to go their separate ways. Divorcing at an advanced age is often a complex process and presents issues that may not exist when a younger couple divorces. If you are in the later years of your life and have decided to seek a divorce, the Dallas divorce lawyers of the McClure Law Group can help you understand your options. We are cognizant of the additional considerations that arise in a late life divorce regardless of your net worth, and will work diligently to assist you in fighting for an equitable division of assets to help provide you financial security in your golden years.Division of Assets
Texas is a community property state. Therefore, property acquired during the marriage is presumed to be the property of both spouses unless proven otherwise. This includes all income earned throughout the marriage, income deferred to a pension, money deposited into IRAs and 401ks, and any property purchased. While older couples often have less debt, and most likely do not have to worry about supporting or caring for children, they may be on a fixed income and suffer more of an impact financially due to a divorce. It is important to consider the tax implications of dividing retirement plans, and whether it would be more beneficial to you financially to retain your marital home or receive money for the value of the home. In many cases, health insurance is provided to both spouses via the employer of one spouse or Medicare. Sometimes, however, the cost of obtaining private health insurance and treating any chronic health conditions must be weighed in evaluating the distribution of assets. If you are seeking a late life divorce, it is very important to consult an experienced divorce attorney to help you assess how the division of your marital assets will impact your financial security, and to help you determine the manner of distribution that is in your best interest.Alimony
Alimony, which is known as spousal maintenance in Texas, is rarely granted in Texas divorces, but is available in certain circumstances. If one party lacks the resources to sufficiently provide for his or her reasonable needs and the parties have been married for ten or more years, a court may choose to award alimony. In order to obtain alimony, the spouse seeking support must show that he or she has diligently attempted to earn sufficient income to support his or her needs, or has attempted to develop the skills necessary to earn a sufficient income. The duration of alimony is limited by state law. If the parties were married for ten to twenty years, alimony cannot be granted for more than five years. If a marriage lasted twenty to thirty years, alimony can be granted for up to seven years. Finally, if a couple was married for thirty years or longer, alimony can be granted for up to ten years. If the spouse receiving alimony is disabled, alimony may be granted indefinitely. The amount of money the party paying alimony is obligated to pay is limited to the lower of twenty percent of his or her average gross income or $5,000.00 per month.Social Security Retirement Benefits
While social security is generally not considered when a younger couple divorces, if you are in the process of seeking a divorce and have been married for at least ten years you may be able to receive social security benefits on your spouse’s record. A party can seek social security benefits if he or she is at least 62-years-old, and his or her ex-spouse is entitled to social security retirement benefits, in an amount greater than the amount of social security benefits the party is entitled to receive based on his or her own work history. You can obtain these benefits regardless of whether your ex-spouse remarries. The amount you are entitled to receive is half of your ex-spouse’s full retirement benefit, if you begin receiving benefits at your full retirement age.Consult a Seasoned Divorce Lawyer in the Dallas Area
Deciding to divorce is never easy, and when a couple that has spent decades together chooses to divorce it can be an especially distressing and difficult decision. If you are at an advanced age and intend to seek a divorce, it is wise to choose an attorney who can help to make the process as seamless as possible, while striving to help you keep a fair share of marital assets. At the McClure Law Group, we are sensitive to the emotional and financial complexities that come with a late life divorce, and will work diligently to help you pursue a fair outcome. We have a Collin County office in Plano (by appointment), and represent individuals in Dallas, Fort Worth, Garland, Richardson, Irving, McKinney, Frisco, and Rockwall. We also represent parties in other cities in Dallas, Grayson, Denton, Collin, Tarrant, and Rockwall Counties. Contact us at 214.692.8200 or via our online  form to set up a consultation.