Unfortunately for some couples, the period when their kids leave the family home can be a challenge for the parents. In some cases, the marital difficulties laid bare by their empty nest may lead to divorce. If you face an empty nest divorce, you also face some unique negotiation issues to work out. Here are four of the most common and why.
1. The Family Home
When your kids are still living in the family home, many couples feel it's important to keep it. However, now that they're gone, is it still that important? More to the point, is it important enough to delay your divorce while you fight over it? Or would it be best to sell it and take the money? This issue can be further complicated if the adult children are somewhat likely to return in the near future.
2. Large Financial Assets
The good news is that empty nest divorces don't have to deal with child custody and support. The bad news — for negotiation purposes — is that financial assets are often larger and more complex than younger divorces. You may need to deal with tax implications of various divisions, complicated assets like a business, or multiple investment accounts.
3. Spousal Support
Alimony, or spousal support, is not affected by the absence of minor children. This is generally determined by how equal or unequal the earning power of both partners is. If one was a stay-at-home parent, they may have a much more limited future income and need support for a while or indefinitely. On the other hand, equitable division of marital assets and debt could provide simpler compensation.
4. Higher Education
Finally, there is one remaining parental expense after kids turn 18: college. Ideally, both parents agree on how to fund college for their kids and a financial tool to do it. However, if both sides don't agree on the necessity of higher education, their ability to fund it, or how much to fund, this part of the negotiation can get heated. You may also need to consult with adult children to make the best choices.
Where to Learn More
Which of these common challenges will your empty nest divorce face? What other, more personal issues are likely to arise? Learn how to navigate this unique divorce period by meeting with a family divorce lawyer in your state today. Using their experience to guide you, you can craft the most successful, least stressful divorce during this difficult time.