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Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-02-2006, 03:29 PM   #1
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Late life divorce (help!)

OK, I am a 47 year old looking down the end of a 24 year marriage. Our total assets are valued just over 1M which includes a home valued at 440K (no debt). I am facing a 47/53 division of assets (her favor) and 4K per month in almony payments (kids are grown) for 8 years leaving me with 6K per month after taxes.

I need to make a tough decision:

Do I hold onto the house? (she doesn't want it) It is far more house than I need (4 bedroom) and I'd be essentially buying it again at today's lofty prices; taxes are 6K per year. I do have an emotional attachment to the home, still it could make sense if I loose my job (offshoring). It could be mortgaged (probably tough to do without a job) or turned into income (1800 per month) by renting out the extra 3 rooms, also might be protected from creditors in bankruptcy. If it were in a bank account I'd simply be forced to spend it.

Do I offer a lump-sum settlement? (sell the house) I see a lot of future stress in meeting alimony payments, going back to court for changes and knowing that the 8 years will probably get extended indefinately. I'd essentially hand over 800K, walk away with 200K to make the most of my remaining years. Of course she could remarry a year later...

I'm trying to find a way to survive in the event I loose my job and my situation evolves into the 'perfect storm'. I appreciate advice* from folks on how to ride this out.
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-02-2006, 03:37 PM   #2
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)

IMHO, no perfect answer. I kept the house but had a very young son to look after. Took me 10 years to recover on the house price but I had to live somewhere and this added stability for my family. I would guess that if you can sell the house near peak value then that would leave you the most cash and therefore the most options.
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-02-2006, 03:45 PM   #3
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)

id try to get the vaginamony reduced....if at first you dont suceed try try a gun.....i mean again
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-02-2006, 04:33 PM   #4
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)

No advice but wasn't there a song called "It's cheaper to keeper"? I think he had your scenario in mind when he wrote it.
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-02-2006, 04:35 PM   #5
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)


Wait a minute, are you saying that not only do you have to split your existing property 47-53 but that you'll also need to pay her alimony to the potential tune of $385k for 8 years, so isn't the eventual split more like 35-65? I'm assuming that the alimony is indexed to inflation. Why the lopsided split? Is she unable to work?
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-02-2006, 05:11 PM   #6
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)

i think OP needs a new lawyer. I've seen this a while ago where someone who's wife never worked got a divorce after 30 years of marriage and he paid her alimony for 8 years. Few hundred a month I think it was. $4000 alimony, for what? Just sell the house, buy 2 cheaper condos and split the rest.
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-02-2006, 05:20 PM   #7
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)

Get rid of the house. You don't need this load to carry. One person can easly rent.
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-02-2006, 07:20 PM   #8
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)

I second that. Get a new lawyer. It should be 50/50.
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-02-2006, 07:32 PM   #9
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)

My brother recently faced the same problem - he was almost 60, only his house was the home our parents brought him to life in.* He sold the house, too many memories.*

This may well be the top of the housing market.* Were you to re-marry the new spouse wouldn't want to live there.* Sell the house, rent for a year or two while the dust settles.*
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-02-2006, 09:27 PM   #10
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BunsOfVeal
Wait a minute, are you saying that not only do you have to split your existing property 47-53 but that you'll also need to pay her alimony to the potential tune of $385k for 8 years, so isn't the eventual split more like 35-65? I'm assuming that the alimony is indexed to inflation. Why the lopsided split? Is she unable to work?
Its not really 35/65...if you count in the 4K per month for 8 years, you need to count in the 6K he keeps for those same 8 years...which is going to get you back closer to 53/47, in favor of the ex-husband.

470 + 576 = 1046 which is 53% to the ex-husband
530 + 385 = 915 which is 47% to his ex-wife.

This also ignores the statement that the OP gets 6K AFTER taxes, and the 4K to the wife is presumably before taxes...which tips it even further to the OP's favor.

SO to me anyway, its not as bad as it sounds on paper at least.



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Re: Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-02-2006, 09:47 PM   #11
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)

What state do you live in?

You say you are worried about potential creditor claims. Before you make a decision you should be familiar at least with what is exempt from creditors under you state's law. This may help you decide. However, I wouldn't make a bad financial decision just to be sure are of your assets fall into one exemption or another.

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Re: Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-03-2006, 12:09 PM   #12
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)

Here in PA, we have what they call "no fault" divorce. What is means is that one party cannot totally prevent the divorce from happening, BUT, they can drag it out for a max. of 2 years. If the 2 sides can't come to an agreement within 2 years, the judge will make the final arrangements.
What is also means, is that there is no incentive for the 2 attorneys to reconcile within the 2 year period; it's in their best financial interest to drag it out and make the maximum profits off their clients. And that's what they do! Another good reason to HATE attorneys.
In my case, I (or we) sold the house and the split was 60-40 in her favor.
Only good thing, on my side, was that I kept my pension 100%, but she took the house profits, my 401k, my mutual funds, and about 60 months (maybe more) of alimony. Rationale for the 60/40 split was that I made more money than her,
even though she contributed absolutely nothing financially to the marriage, the home, the college costs, or anything else. I even had to pick up the payments on her auto when she left. Was a sweet deal for her, but that's PA for you.

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Re: Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-03-2006, 12:16 PM   #13
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bennevis
... but that's PA for you.
Your phrase rang a very rusty bell in the back of my memory:

"Pittsburgh: Someplace special!!"
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-03-2006, 12:18 PM   #14
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)

Nords,
you really should come back for a visit; you'd be surprised!
But aren't PA's divorce problems really universal ?
Ray
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-03-2006, 12:24 PM   #15
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bennevis
you really should come back for a visit;* you'd be surprised!
I'll bet! I'll probably make it the 30th HS reunion in 2008. It'll be full of surprises... the kind you don't bring along the spouse & kids to enjoy. Or maybe we'll send the kid over to tour Pitt & Carnegie-Mellon while I'm being surprised.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bennevis
But aren't PA's divorce problems really universal ?
'Fraid so.

As far as non-contributing spouses go, don't get veterans started on divorce legislation & lawyers. Even CA has jumped on the bandwagon with spouse support based on the pension a veteran should have earned.
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-03-2006, 01:31 PM   #16
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bennevis
Here in PA, we have what they call "no fault" divorce.* *What is means is that one party cannot totally prevent the divorce from happening, BUT, they can drag it out for a max. of 2 years.* If the 2 sides can't come to an agreement within 2 years, the judge will make the final arrangements.
What is also means, is that there is no incentive for the 2 attorneys to reconcile within the 2 year period;* it's in their best financial interest to drag it out and make the maximum profits off their clients.* *And that's what they do!* *Another good reason to HATE attorneys.
In my case, I (or we) sold the house and the split was 60-40 in her favor.
Only good thing, on my side, was that I kept my pension 100%, but she took the house profits, my 401k, my mutual funds, and about 60 months (maybe more) of alimony.* * Rationale for the 60/40 split was that I made more money than her,
even though she contributed absolutely nothing financially to the marriage, the home, the college costs, or anything else.* *I even had to pick up the payments on her auto when she left.* *Was a sweet deal for her, but that's PA for you.

Were there kids involved? Grown or otherwise? Who raised them?
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-03-2006, 03:53 PM   #17
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)

I would seek as clean a cash out as possible, get as much cash as possible, and move to Thailand.* Even if she gets more than you, you can worry about that while sitting on the beach, living very well on a very cheap budget, and where you can enjoy new adventures.* I have always found that a decent beach holday with a lovely young companion is an effective cure for a bad situation.* 8)

PS:* Some due dilligence.* You will feel better about your property distribution.

http://www.stickmanbangkok.com/Reader/reader1627.htm

http://www.geocities.com/vfw9951/doc...n-Thailand.htm

http://www.transitionsabroad.com/pub.../feature.shtml

http://www.thailandqa.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9185

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Re: Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-04-2006, 05:09 AM   #18
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)

cash is always best in settling a divorce and just make it go as easy as possible.you dont want a significant other in your life(your wifes divorce attorny) .
the only one benefiting from fighting over the distribution of assets is the lawyers.most of the time if it goes to court the wife wins more than you can imagine if its an equitable distribution state
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-04-2006, 06:13 AM   #19
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)

Yet another reason I doubt I'll ever get married!

Personally, I know many retired vets whoes ex gets the pension... Really sad actually
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)
Old 09-04-2006, 09:46 AM   #20
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Re: Late life divorce (help!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by trixs
Yet another reason I doubt I'll ever get married!*
Good luck with that... if marriage was a purely financial decision it'd still make sense.

It's divorce that's the issue.
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