Late Life Divorce

Late Life Divorce Lawyer in Orange County

Recognizing Special Issues in Divorce After 50

If you are over 50 and contemplating divorce, we suggest you contact an experienced lawyer from The Law Offices of W. Douglas McKeague. We have represented individuals and families with family law cases in Orange County since 1981 and are well-equipped to explain the subtle and not-so-subtle nuances of a late life divorce. We can help you understand the issues that you are up against as someone divorcing later in life, so you can protect your interests and ensure that you make the right decisions for your emotional and financial well-being.

Divorcing later in life? Here is what you need to know

Couples divorce later in life for the same reasons as younger couples – infidelity, financial problems, or simply growing apart. When you are over 50, you are facing aging-related issues that can play a key role in your decision to divorce; for example, health issues, tensions brought on by children going off to college, aging parents moving into the home, and the desire for independence.

If you are considering filing for divorce later in life, you should consider some of the challenges you may encounter:

Your Home

  • At the age of 62 you become eligible for a reverse mortgage, which offers a potential stream of income.
  • A primary residence receives special treatment for individuals who qualify for public benefits such as Medicaid.
  • Owning a home means the potential for rental income.
  • By keeping a home you have the right to equity, regardless of whether or not you downsize.


In order to divide retirement benefits, the court can issue a separate order known as the Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). You should discuss the following with your lawyer:

  • If you are eligible for survivor benefits upon the death of your spouse or ex-spouse.
  • When you can receive distributions without paying tax penalties.
  • If your spouse has any loans out against his or her 401(k) plan which he or she should repay before dividing funds.
  • Whether you are able to obtain a hardship withdrawal if necessary.
  • If your former spouse is a military member and you have rights to military retirement benefits under the Survivor Benefit Plan.

Social Security Benefits

A divorce court cannot divide any benefits from Social Security, however they may affect post-divorce incomes.

If you were married for 10 years and you are at least 62 years of age, you have a right to benefits of retirement on your ex-spouse's record, without reducing your ex's benefits.

Once you have been divorced for two years, you will be entitled to benefits through your ex-spouse, even if he or she is eligible but not collecting benefits. Further, if your former spouse dies, you may be eligible to receive up to 100% of their Social Security benefit providing you meet certain criteria.

Speak With a Late Life Divorce Attorney in Orange County

Contact The Law Offices of W. Douglas McKeague to learn more about late life divorce. With more than 35 years of experience representing clients in their divorces, we can answer all of your questions and give you the information you need to make the right decisions.

Contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation!

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