Collaborative Divorce Later in Life - Long Term Marriages

There is a rising trend throughout the United States among older adults contemplating and pursuing divorce to end long term marriages of 30 or 40 years.  Divorce at this stage in life is quite distinct from a divorce among younger couples just starting out. 

Obviously, such long term marriages do not have children’s issues to work out as the children of these marriages are adults themselves. In addition, the mature marriages have more assets to divide often including an unencumbered home, more expensive furniture furnishings, collections, such as art work and the like, along with well funded retirement benefits, investments, and pension plans. 

Collaborative divorce in Michigan has proven effective in helping these couples address these challenges when ending a long term marriage. Through the collaborative divorce process, each spouse is assisted by a team of professionals who can address each client’s interests.  Both spouses are able to productively work towards fashioning an agreement which takes into consideration each person’s specific needs.  There is no court intervention until after the parties have settled all issues relating to their marriage and divorce.  The parties are provided with emotional, legal and financial assistance to address the issues important to them, allowing each spouse to come to terms he or she can feel comfortable with now and well into the future.

Collaborative divorce offers many advantages over the traditional adversarial method for couples considering a divorce after a long term marriage. Collaborative divorce promotes a cordial, cooperative, and respectful approach to resolving disputes, one that preserves and recognizes the importance of long-lasting and healthy family relationships.  In contrast to the traditional litigation divorce case, a collaborative divorce maintains privacy and is not part of the public record.  The couples’ own individual situation is considered by the couple themselves, allowing them to maintain control over the outcome, rather than a third party making arbitrary decisions without a complete understanding of their circumstances. Couples divorcing later in life often have a very clear picture of how they wish to divide the fruits of their marriage and may have already made estate planning decisions impacting their children.  With collaborative divorce, they are able to rely on a team of professionals to assist with the many facets of divorce. Financial professionals, for example, help the couple balance the needs and living standard of both spouses, review options for distribution of assets, and look for ways to minimize the impact of taxation.    

For couples contemplating divorce in their later years, collaboration is of great value in bringing about the most satisfying and enduring results while preserving each person’s dignity and the couples’ extended family relationships.  Metro Detroit divorce attorney Danielle Smith recognizes the value of helping spouses productively resolve conflicts through a healthy process of consultation and cooperation.  At the law office of Danielle A. Smith PLLC, we take great care in nurturing close client relationships and establishing open lines of communication with clients, counseling them as they strive to achieve a positive result.  Contact us today to discuss your options.

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