For older Missouri residents, ending a marriage can be a particularly confusing and emotional process. Often referred to as a "gray divorce," the term simply means a divorce between a couple over the age of 50. Any children may have already struck out on their own, and a divorcee may be retired from a job that occupied a lot of his or her time. The prospect of starting over without the company of a spouse may be scary, but people considering a gray divorce have options.
When Missouri marriages come to an end, a court usually hashes out the details. Who gets the house? How will time with the kids be split? Personal details like these are a few examples of normal things that might be included in a divorce order, but a court cannot tell a couple how to share "custody" of their mutual friends.
While most people are well aware of the number of marriages that end in divorce, they still enter into a marriage with the anticipation that theirs will be the one to last. Sadly, this is often not the case. Many couples are finding ways to achieve their splits while remaining amicable. In Missouri, collaborative settlements are becoming more commonplace as couples are able to amicably negotiate agreements, resolve custody issues and arrive at divorce settlements that are mutually agreed upon.
Whether a Missouri couple decides to litigate or mediate an end to their relationship, it is helpful to enter the chosen process armed with effective negotiation skills. There are typically several ways to say the same thing. The phrasing a spouse chooses and the manner in which he or she conveys an idea can mean the difference between an ability to negotiate a fair and satisfactory divorce settlement in a swift and amicable manner or becoming entangled in a lengthy court battle. A spouse who takes time to review practical tips for successful negotiation may place him or herself a step ahead of the game.
The holidays have passed, the cold of January is settling in and tax season is rapidly approaching. January is also said to be the month when there are more divorce filings than at other times of the year. This can be an issue in particular for older couples who may be contemplating a divorce. As one nears retirement age in Oklahoma, thought must be given as to how best to handle retirement accounts and the tax implications of divorce on those accounts.
January has the unfortunate connotation of being known as divorce month by some in the legal community. This is thought to be because of people looking at the new year as an opportunity for new beginnings and fresh starts. The decision to divorce may be a mutual one as couples who may have been married for many years realize they have grown apart. This can be particularly true for many older couples in Oklahoma whose children have grown and they may find they just don't have much in common anymore.
Marriage is typically entered into with a vow that is not supposed to be broken except by death. While the overall divorce rate has declined in Oklahoma in recent years, almost half of all marriages still end in divorce. The reasons for divorce may be different in each case and most people acknowledge that a couple should not remain in an unhappy marriage nor remain together for the sake of the children. There are other myths that largely do not hold true.
Divorce has been depicted by the entertainment industry for years as a long, drawn out and contentious process as depicted in the 1989 movie "The War of the Roses." In recent years, divorce, even among the wealthy and famous, has occasionally been a more civilized affair. In addition to being more civilized, divorces are frequently not as drawn out in Oklahoma. As such, when children are involved, the impact on them may be less traumatic.
While the divorce rate in Oklahoma and around the nation is on the decline, it is actually increasing among couples aged 55 and older. As these couples are nearer to retirement age, the issue of retirement and finances becomes a crucial consideration when contemplating divorce. It is certainly more important than for a younger couple who may have many earning years ahead of them.
In Oklahoma and elsewhere, marriage is a contract entered into by two people who are intent on forming a partnership that they believe will endure for the rest of their lives. In roughly 50% of cases, the end comes sooner as about half of all marriages eventually end in divorce. Marriage is hard and full of ups and downs. When do the ups and downs give way to the need for divorce?