When older people decide to end a long marriage, the concerns they have are different than those they might have faced twenty or thirty years ago.
Having decided to go their separate ways, seniors are staring into an uncertain future. Many aspects of the divorce process, including the need to divide marital assets, may seem overwhelming.
Understanding Louisiana divorce
Louisiana is a community property state, which means that the assets that each spouse earns or acquires during the marriage are owned equally by the partners in the union no matter which person was actually responsible for producing them. For example, if one spouse has a 401(k), the other has a right to half the funds in that account. There may be other retirement accounts as well, but when there is a 50-50 split, the future financial picture may not look as rosy as it once did.
The marital residence may be a sticking point in the divorce. A person may want to retain ownership of the home he or she has loved and cared for, but keeping it means giving up something of equal value to the spouse. They should also keep in mind that real property comes with taxes and the cost of upkeep, which in a larger, older home may involve considerable expense.
It is not unusual for older couples to continue helping their adult children financially. Most divorce agreements do not contain provisions for payments to third parties. Therefore, a divorcing parent may have to make a choice about continuing such payments out of retirement funds or some other source of funds even though that source probably represents what is soon to become reduced financial circumstances. This is just one more dilemma, but by seeking competent legal help to get through a so-called gray divorce, people can save themselves some sleepless nights as they ponder what life will be like once the long-time marriage is officially over.