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  • John C. Whitbeck, Jr.


    John C. Whitbeck, Jr. practices in the following areas of law: Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Mediation, Arbitration, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Criminal Law, DUI/DWI, Reckless Driving, All Felonies, All Misdemeanors, Juvenile Crimes, Mental Health Law, Civil and Business Litigation, Construction Litigation, Education Law, Election Law, Debt Collection, Consumer and Lemon Law.

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  • Ruth M. McElroy


    Ruth M. McElroy practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Pre and Post Marital Agreements, Domestic Violence, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Juvenile Crimes, Felony and Misdemeanor Crimes, Traffic Offenses, Debt Collection, Civil and Business Litigation. She serves the Virginia Court system as a Guardian ad litem.

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  • Jennifer D. Cisneros


    Jennifer D. Cisneros practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Juvenile Crimes, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Estate Planning, Wills and Probate, Trusts, Civil and Business Litigation and Debt Collection.

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Factors for couples divorcing after 50


It has been dubbed “gray divorce,” when individuals over 50 end their marriages. These types of divorces have become more common in recent years, and experienced divorce attorneys have learned that the major considerations in gray divorces can be far different than those for individuals ending their marriages in their 20s and 30s. If you are older and seeking to dissolve your marriage, speak to a Leesburg family law attorney right away. They will explain the legal process of obtaining a divorce in Virginia and ensure you have considered all of the right factors.

Issues to Consider when Divorcing Over 50

Retirement: When you divorce after 50, retirement is right around the corner or you may already be retired. A main focus of your divorce needs to be how retirement funds will be divided. It is common for retirement savings to be in one person’s name through his or her work. However, you have a right to your portion of this savings. Your retirement savings is necessary to ensure you are not left in a financially difficult situation at this point in your life.

Spousal support: An unfortunate fact of life is that your expenses after retirement may go up while your income decreases. As you get older, you may find you have more medical expenses that use up a considerable portion of your monthly income. You might also have to look for new health insurance after you divorce. You should consider what the future may hold in terms of not only ordinary household expenses, but also foreseeable medical needs and insurance costs. If you have a condition that is likely to worsen or now have to purchase your own insurance, these support your need for spousal support.

The children and grandchildren: For many older individuals, child custody is not an issue. However, determining how you and your ex will handle family events is important. If you want to minimize the amount of time you spend together, try to quietly work out a schedule. On the other hand, some spouses over 50 still have teenagers at home. Legal and physical custody of teens can be tricky because they have lives away from home. It may be best to work out a parenting plan with the teenager’s opinion in mind. If a formal visitation schedule is arranged, you cannot be seen as interfering so you need to make sure your kids understand these visits are required – not an option.

Paying for college: Child custody and visitation will not be an issue if your children are out of high school. However, if your kids are in college, the question of who pays for it comes up during a divorce. You and your spouse can work this out yourselves or the court will not compel each of you to contribute a certain amount.

Estate planning: When you divorce at an older age, you must take into account not only what you need now and what you may need in retirement, but also what you want to pass on to your children. If you and your soon-to-be-ex are on good terms, discuss transferring property and assets to your children now instead of arguing who keeps it in the divorce. If this is not an option, you can try and negotiate within your divorce settlement that an asset kept by your ex still goes to a certain individual upon his or her death.

The family home: If your children are older or out of the house, keeping the house may be unnecessary. You should question whether you need to keep the house, especially if it is larger than you need. Large homes, particularly if they are older, can greatly increase your cost of living, which is exactly what you do not need when you are approaching retirement. Consider selling the home during the divorce and downsizing to a smaller house or condo that will keep your future expenses within your retirement budget.

Contact Us Today

For more information on obtaining a divorce, contact the Leesburg divorce attorneys of Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC at 703-997-4982. We are prepared to help you today.



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Governor Northam’s Executive Order 53 provides that businesses that offer professional rather than retail services may remain open. Our firm is continuing to operate to ensure you and your family have advocates available for whatever legal issue you face. For clients who prefer, we can arrange meeting by Zoom or other video-conferencing. We are also implementing internal procedures to provide a safe environment in the office. Please contact us at 703-777-1795 or schedule an appointment today!