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Kris Humphries' parents' divorce: Challenges of divorcing later in life

A family that would usually have privacy during a divorce is instead the topic of news stories around the country: Kris Humphries' parents, like their son, are getting a divorce.

The couple filed for divorce in Minnesota. Like their son, they will likely go through a lengthy divorce involving large assets. Unlike their son, they have been married for many years and have three adult children.

Divorces involving long marriages and long-term assets can be some of the most complicated divorces, even if they don't include child custody and child support concerns. Some of the questions involved in high asset divorces include:

  • Is there a prenuptial agreement? What issues aren't covered by the prenup?
  • Should one spouse receive alimony?
  • What should happen with the family business? (In this case, the husband owns multiple Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurants.)
  • Who should receive the house?
  • What about vacation homes and other property?
  • How can retirement plans be divided?
  • What are some of the tax implications of divorce?

Divorcing with adult children

Divorcing after a long-term marriage can pose another issue: Adult children. Many people understand the effect of divorce on young children, but divorce may affect adult children as much, if not more.

For example, many divorcing parents look to adult children for support, not realizing that they are pitting their children against the other parent. Adult children often feel very responsible for their parents, worrying about the emotional impact of the divorce on their parents and even handling the financial issues of the divorce.

Holidays become very difficult when longtime traditions split up and the adult children must choose where to go for Christmas, New Year's, etc. Their sense of "family" can become distorted. And, just like with young children, adult children will experience grief during this time of significant change.

Working through the challenges

Divorcing later in life can have many challenges, but there are ways to make the process easier for all involved, including adult children. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you evaluate the challenges that you face and determine the next steps to take. This may mean negotiating with your spouse to come up with a mutually beneficial situation or even going through the collaborative divorce process, which allows you to focus on all aspects of your divorce in a problem-solving setting.

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