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Getting a Divorce After 50? Get a Team!

By Sandra Hughes May 27, 2017 Family

Navigating a divorce is stressful and unpredictable. Creating or maintaining healthy habits and taking care of ourselves is vital during this uncertain time.

Regular exercise goes a long way in helping to relieve stress and it makes us feel a whole lot better in general. Doing something grounding and centering like yoga or Pilates is helpful.

What if I told you that a lot of stress and unpredictability could be alleviated from the beginning if you also put a comprehensive support team in place?

Your Divorce After 50 Team Members

Who should be on your divorce team? The goal is to get you through the process as whole as you can possibly be. Your team should be made up of two clear and distinct sub groups: wellness and business. I recommend four key wellness team members and four key business team members.

Here’s who you should engage and why they are important.

The wellness members of the team are there in their expert capacity to help you deal with the stress and intense emotion caused by the divorce. The business members of the team provide expert knowledge and guidance in evaluating your current situation and providing advice and structure to determine what is realistic for your financial future.

Get referrals for these team members from people you trust: family, friends or colleagues. Interview each to make sure that they are the right fit for you. It is important that you feel truly supported by each of your team members.

Four People on Your Wellness Team

Therapist (LFMT)

If you haven’t already started seeing a therapist, hopefully your divorce attorney or mediator will suggest that you do. I certainly recommend that you do. There will be a lot of emotion that comes up during the divorce process and a lot of diving deep into the whys and hows. A licensed therapist is the best person to work through all of that with you.

Massage Therapist

Massage is a great stress reliever. I started having regular massages about eight years ago and it has made a world of difference relieving stress, especially during my divorce.

Acupuncturist and/or Chiropractor

Either or both of these practitioners will help with relieving the stress that manifests itself in different parts of our bodies, most often our neck, shoulders and spine. We tend to tighten all of these when we are stressed and in “fight or flight mode.” I hadn’t been to either for 30 years because my first experience with both was not great: huge needles at the acupuncturist and intense bone cracking at the chiropractor.

I have learned in recent years that one can go to an acupuncturist who uses little thin needles with great effect and a chiropractor who uses less intense techniques. I am now a huge fan of both and I receive both treatments to achieve stress relief! Also, it is possible to find practitioners who are covered by health insurance.

Certified Coach

A certified coach plays a different role than a therapist. A coach is more of a mentor, a person with whom you discuss your goals and your plans for achieving them. In the process, you explore your values and life purpose with your coach as your guide. Your coach will help you to be accountable for what you say you want/are going to do, and together you will create a vision of your reinvented life!

Four Members of Your Business Team

The financial realities of divorce can leave you wondering, “Will I be okay financially? Will I be able to live well after divorce?” The answer to both of those questions can be yes—with a lot of thoughtful planning on your part.

The financial, and quite frankly “business” aspects of divorce, are best served by four important team members as well. Once again, the best way to find these people is by referral.

Talk to people you know who have been through divorce. Find out who their advisers were and whether they would recommend them. Interview them before you start working with them. It is very important for you to respect your advisers as well as having them respect you.

Divorce Attorney or Mediator

This may seem obvious, but it is critical. This is where doing your research and finding one through referral is well worth the time and effort. This person is going to be your advocate and you want someone who will have your best interests at heart, with whom you work well and share mutual respect.

Certified Financial Planner

It is vital to have a financial adviser who will make sure you are clear about what money and assets you have now, and that you budget and plan wisely regarding the income and assets you will have when the divorce is final.


An accountant will help you sort and organize your information and prepare your taxes. This is really useful if you have never done your own taxes, especially if there is a year when you are separated but still filing your taxes “married filing jointly.”

Your accountant can either prepare those taxes or, if prepared by the other side, check them on your behalf.

Trust and Estate Planning Attorney

It will be important to have a good estate planning attorney for all of the issues surrounding your estate and beneficiaries. This is particularly true for those of us divorcing at midlife or older.

Keep in mind that your team members will be working with you and one another to fully support you and your goals. Putting this team in place will provide tremendous support and alleviate a lot of your stress so you can manage your divorce and navigate the rest of your life!

Has anyone you know gone through a divorce after 50? How did they manage? Are there other team members you would recommend? How have you gotten referrals from family and friends? Do you have questions about assembling your divorce team? Please comment below and let’s talk about it.

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The Author

Sandra Hughes, MBA, CPCC, is a leadership coach for adults 40+ going through transitions, especially divorce. She created the Life Reinvented Program to address the needs of people ending long-term marriages: You can learn more about Sandra’s story at

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