Many unhappy spouses reaching retirement age in Missouri may find it uncomfortable to discuss the possibility of divorce. However, since 1987, the divorce rate for U.S. couples over 50 has escalated continuously, even as the overall rate of divorce has been on a downward trend. Recent studies show that about one out of four couples over the age of 50 decides to divorce, and the trend shows no sign of stopping. For older couples, existing difficulties in a marriage can be aggravated by the departure of adult children and changes to lifestyle brought about by retirement.
Divorce settlements in Missouri represent court orders that establish every aspect of a couple's split. In addition to dividing property, the settlement assigns debts, like mortgages, car loans or credit card balances, to each party. Jointly held debt, in which both partners signed the loan agreement while married, cannot be entirely overturned by a divorce settlement. Because the creditor has both people on the loan, the creditor still has the ability to pursue payment from one person even if the divorce settlement requires the other ex-spouse to pay the debt.
While the overall rate for divorce hovers around 50 percent for all age groups, the number of people who divorce by the end of their 30s varies drastically around the nation. For Missouri, this rate is about 13 percent, which puts it in the middle of the national range. In general, states in the Deep South have higher rates of pre-30 divorce, with Arkansas having the highest at a rate of near 20 percent. States in the northeast have lower rates, with New York coming in at the lowest of just under 5 percent.
Missouri couples are usually committed to their marriages and making them work, particularly if they have children. However, there are situations in which divorce may be necessary for the safety and well-being of the entire family. The difficulty for many spouses is determining the point at which ending the marriage is the most responsible option.
Missouri couples who get married do so with the idea that it will be forever. However, a significant number of marriages end in divorce, which can severely change each person's life plan. One way to prepare for the possibility of a divorce is by drafting and signing a prenuptial agreement before the wedding.
Missouri couples who are getting a divorce will need to divide shared property, but there are common errors many make at this stage. For example, a person might decide to keep the home while the other person keeps an asset that has an equal value such as a brokerage or checking account. However, the upkeep of the house is likely to be much more costly than maintaining a more liquid asset. Furthermore, a person might even find that it is not possible to maintain the house on just one income.
Couples in Missouri may be interested in some findings that associate certain occupations with the likelihood of divorce. Data from a 2015 survey shows that people who work in fields that involve travel or nightlife are the most likely to get divorced. Bartenders come out at the top of the list of highest divorce rate by profession.
Property division can be a contentious divorce issue. Couples in Missouri who are getting a divorce and have a joint checking or saving account should know how to close a joint bank account, and if need be, without the permission of other owners of the account.