After 30 years of marriage you and your husband have decided to get a divorce. You've built quite a life together over the last three decades and the thought of starting fresh is overwhelming. Where do you even begin?
There are many things to consider in a gray divorce. One of the biggest concerns is ensuring that you're taken care of in your golden years. While it's impossible to know what the future holds, it is possible to plan accordingly and set yourself up for many more years of happiness.
A couple of the more important things to consider when divorcing after 30 years are:
Finances and division of property
Since you've been married for so long, it's likely that most of your assets are commingled. The best case scenario would be if you and your soon-to-be-ex mutually agreed on divorce terms. If you cannot come to an agreement, it will be up to the courts to decide. New York is an equitable distribution state, which means a judge will divide your property based on what they believe is fair. Please note, this does not guarantee that everything will be split evenly between the two of you.
Another thing to note is how expensive a divorce can become if you choose to go to court. Do you really want 30 years of saving for the future to be drained in litigation fees?
New family dynamics
How will your children react to the news of your divorce? Will there be a need for counseling or family mediation? Just because your kids have grown doesn't mean this won't affect them. It's important to keep communication lines open between all of you. Encourage them to ask questions and allow their feelings to be heard.
Your kids will likely wonder what's going to happen to their childhood home. Be honest and let them know if there's been talk about selling the house. The tough part is anticipating your newly grown children and the needs they'll have surrounding the divorce and in the future. You've always imagined that one (or more) of them might need to come back and live at home during their college years or while they get acclimated into the workforce. No matter the end result, the most important thing is that wherever you end up still feels like home.
How can an attorney help?
Working closely with a family law attorney has many benefits. They have experience handling divorcing couples and will be a treasure trove of knowledge and advice. Ending a 30 year marriage is a big deal; you cannot begin to image the questions and hiccups that will inevitably arise along the way. Having an attorney in your corner will be your greatest asset.