Separation and Divorce for Retirees

31 July 2018

Retired Baby Boomers are separating and divorcing late in life.  We are seeing more people getting to a point where they cannot put up with living with their long-standing spouse or partner any longer!  Whilst life was good when one or both were working and bringing up the children, spending a lot more time together in retirement apparently can test even the most solid relationship! 

Many Baby Boomers aged 60-plus have had a dream financial run:

  • They bought family homes for bargain prices when they were young
  • The value of those family homes has been rising exponentially
  • They got their tertiary education for free (no HECS or HELP debts)
  • They are reaping the benefits of compulsory superannuation
  • They have received an inheritance on the death of their frugal parents

When one of these couples separate, the dream run may come to an abrupt end.  Whilst two people living together may be able to afford the luxury of living in a spacious comfortable home (which may also accommodate their children and grandchildren), that may well not be possible after a Family Law Property settlement as the family home may need to be sold to enable each party to receive his/her entitlement to a property settlement.  It often happens that one member of the couple may be oblivious to the other’s wish to end the marriage and this can have an emotionally devastating impact. 

Apart from dividing up the real estate, any other investments (including Superannuation) must also be divided.  This will have an impact on how much income a person receives after separation.

Also, just to add to the complexity of the situation, one (or both) members of the couple may have health problems.  For example, if a person has health issues and needs care (previously provided by a spouse/partner) that is a factor which would be given significant weight in determining any appropriate property settlement.  However, if the sick person’s life-expectancy was minimal and the healthy person’s life-expectancy was high, then the weighting could well be reversed to favour the healthy person.

Each situation is unique and it is essential to obtain the best Family Law legal advice available.  Telephone Melbourne Family Lawyers on +613 9670 9677 or click on the blue Make An Enquiry button on this page.

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