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Indiana Elder Divorce Attorney

Issues Your Indiana Elder Divorce Attorney Should Consider

Divorce is never easy, but some of the main considerations change when those divorcing are in their 50s as opposed to earlier in life. Late-life divorce can introduce more serious—or at least different—financial considerations than experienced by younger divorcing couples, which means you need an experienced Indiana elder divorce attorney to navigate you through those waters.

The Indiana divorce attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP know the unique challenges and pitfalls faced in a late-life divorce. We make sure our clients understand issues that could arise and provide guidance grounded in years of divorce practice to help your divorce herald a positive fresh start.

Elder divorce, sometimes called gray divorce, appears to be on the rise, with the number of late-life divorce cases reported to be more than double what they were in the 1990s. While a gray divorce may avoid child-related issues, the property division issues remain—but the context has changed. A younger person has years to rebuild following the division of assets in a divorce, but a late-life divorce leaves you fewer years to recoup those assets or deal with the need to provide for a change in income.

Late-life divorce changes the considerations, and getting to the other side of the divorce with financial security requires Indiana gray divorce counsel adept at identifying and successfully handling issues in elder divorces. Keffer Hirschauer LLP understands how gray divorce is the same as—and different than—divorce earlier in life. An Indiana elder divorce attorney from our firm can help protect your future.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Common Issues in Divorces

No two divorces are exactly the same, but many involve one or more of the following issues:

  • Child custody, support, and visitation
  • Property division, including real property, personal property, financial accounts, and other intangible assets
  • Division of retirement accounts
  • Division of debts and other liabilities
  • Spousal maintenance

Under Indiana Code § 31-15-7-5, Indiana divorce law presumes that an equal division of the marital estate is equitable or fair. However, it also allows for circumstances in which an unequal division would be appropriate.

In considering the division of property, the court divides more than the house, its contents, and the vehicles. Couples are sometimes surprised to learn that the divisible assets also include things like beneficiary rights to retirement accounts or insurance policies. And, depending on the type of retirement accounts involved, the division of those assets can be complicated, requiring professional valuation.

Whether the parties may agree to the division of assets or the court determines the division of assets, the final division is recorded in an order by the court, called the divorce decree. The divorce decree should act as a roadmap for dealing with child-related issues and clearly define the division of assets and debts. While each spouse walks away with less than the couple had together, each also expects to have years to build an estate up to or beyond the size of the joint estate they shared during the marriage.

Divorce at any age involves many considerations non-lawyers may not be aware of. Working with an experienced Indiana divorce attorney is critical to making sure your rights are completely protected in your divorce.

What Is Considered a Late-Life Divorce?

A late-life or gray divorce is generally considered to be a divorce between spouses in their 50s or older. Even under this definition, the circumstances can vary significantly depending on whether the divorce arose after a long-term marriage, a late-life first marriage, or a subsequent marriage.

In all three cases, child issues are less likely to take front stage, although they could still be present. Instead, the major shift is likely to be in the context of dividing the marital estate. Under Indiana Code § 31-15-7-4, this includes property owned by either spouse individually or before the marriage. While someone divorcing in the 20s, 30s, or 40s probably has another two to four decades to generate income and grow an estate, someone 50 or older has much less time to recoup the division of what has taken many more years to accumulate. In the case of divorce even later—after retirement—the stakes are even higher.

Potential Issues in Elder Divorces

Ending a marriage and separating assets can be problematic or contentious regardless of when it happens. In an elder divorce, some of the most common issues include:

  • Planning for your standard of living after the divorce, potentially with reduced income potential and assets
  • Special considerations unique to high asset divorces
  • Maintenance under Indiana Code § 31-15-7-2 for a spouse who was not employed outside the home for a significant part of the marriage or who is determined to be physically or mentally incapacitated
  • College expenses for children of the marriage
  • Enforcing and determining the effects of a prenuptial and/or postnuptial agreement, if any
  • Determining the present value of and dividing retirement accounts and how that affects future income streams
  • Determining the value of business interests to be divided in the divorce
  • Beneficiary rights on accounts and insurance policies
  • Survivor rights on financial and retirement accounts
  • Social Security benefits
  • Competency of a spouse
  • Effect of the divorce on estate planning, including the effect on adult children of one or both spouses
  • Effect of the divorce on any inheritance received during the marriage
  • Effect of the divorce on eligibility for health insurance benefits

While the same divorce laws apply at all ages, your situation in life—including your stage of life—determines which issues require special consideration in your case. An Indiana elder divorce attorney can help you recognize which issues require particular attention in your divorce and help you deal with them effectively.

Find Your Indiana Elder Divorce Attorney at Keffer Hirschauer LLP

When you’re investigating Indiana divorce attorneys for a divorce in your 50s or later, make sure that your interests are fully protected by talking to an Indiana elder divorce attorney at Keffer Hirschauer LLP. As a litigation-focused firm, we help develop strategies that include mediation, collaborative divorce, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution where appropriate, but we are also fully equipped to effectively argue your case in court. Whether your divorce would be in Indianapolis or elsewhere in the state, we can help.