Living Together Over 50? Mediate to Protect Yourself Against a “Grey Breakup”
Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation, it’s best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.
The “grey divorce” has been the most common divorce-related headline of the past few years. It’s notable because overall, divorce is becoming less common. Less spoken about, however, are the increasing numbers of couples who aren’t getting married at all. Many of these include people living together over the age of 50. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of couples aged 50 and older who were living together went up 75 percent between 2007 and 2016. These new relationships have serious implications for couples, whether they head into old age together or break up later on. Unmarried partners don’t have the same property rights as married partners unless they formally agree on those rights (or their states recognize the rights of non-married couples).
It’s not just breakups. Illness and death can also leave unmarried couples without rights to look after each other in ill health or to inherit assets. To avoid these heartbreaking situations, it’s better to confront these issues early in your relationship. Luckily, mediation is a neutral forum in which to discuss these issues. When emotions are running high, having a neutral mediator present can reframe the conversation from one of fear and conflict to an act of caring for each other. The San Diego divorce mediation experts at Divorce Options San Diego have psychoanalytical as well as legal and financial expertise, allowing negotiations to run smoothly on a number of levels.
Threats to Stability
Just because you’re an unmarried couple over 50, it doesn’t mean you can’t have access to some of the same kinds of stability that married couples do. Things that can threaten your individual and mutual stability include:
Differences in Wealth/Income
When there’s a financial imbalance, one partner’s financial stability can be seriously threatened in the event of death or divorce. In mediation, you can deal with considerations such as estate planning and retirement. The mediators at Divorce Options San Diego have financial expertise and leave no financial stone unturned. Estate planning, retirement plans, and contingency plans for asset division can all be discussed in mediation. Mediation often results in formal cohabitation agreements.
Splitting retirement accounts can be a headache when you’re married, let alone when you’re cohabiting. Planning for retirement with your partner and agreeing what to do in the event of a breakup can be taken care of early with mediation, leaving you more secure in your future.
There’s nothing more heartbreaking than sharing a life with someone only to be excluded from healthcare decisions about him or her. In mediation, you can work out things such as healthcare power of attorney and decide how to transfer these in the event of a breakup.
A Roof Over Your Head
Having a roof over your head is a fundamental form of security no one wants to gamble with. In the event of a breakup or the death of a partner, this may not be a guaranteed right to the surviving partner. In mediation, you can ensure neither partner is left without shelter and stability.
If you’ve shared a life with someone and you’re going your separate ways, chances are you leaned on each other for support. In mediation, you can make agreements to support each other in the future if you break up.
Our Services & How We Can Help
At Divorce Options San Diego, we are highly qualified professional San Diego divorce mediators and certified financial planners with psychoanalytical expertise. We empower divorcing spouses to own their divorce and craft sustainable, effective mutual agreements that will last long after the divorce is finalized. We are a one-stop shop providing a bundle of essential divorce services, from paperwork, court documents, and financial analysis to divorce transition coaching, life coaching, and interior design. We can work with all aspects of your post-divorce life to make your transition as fruitful and empowering as possible. Our services include career coaching, retraining, working with financial wealth advisors and other professionals, arranging moving services, connecting you with realtors, and helping you with interior design for your new space.
The mediators at Divorce Options San Diego are all certified financial planners who apply thorough financial analysis to your divorce to achieve an optimized result that will cover all aspects of your financial situation, including investments, property, and all other assets or debts. Our mediation process provides a sophisticated review of your community property, separate property, potential community property, allocations and divisions, cash flow, transitional processes, and sustainable financial planning for your divorce process. We help you draft settlement agreements that are fully legally compliant and take into account the needs of the whole family. At Divorce Options San Diego, we emphasize an efficient, caring process that leaves out no detail relevant to your emotional, financial, or legal situation. We have offices in Solana Beach, CA, but we can work with you remotely at your convenience via telephone, video-conferencing apps, and other forms of electronic communication. Please contact us at 858-281-2628 for a discreet and confidential consultation to see how we can help.