Couples over the age of 50 are divorcing at increasing rates. When two people are incompatible, divorce is the best solution. But it can be more challenging for those who are older — due to the increase of assets that need to be separated. Let’s take a look.
Why is Gray Divorce Happening Now?
It’s interesting, but while divorces have decreased in younger generations, they’ve actually been increasing in the older population. Older individuals are divorcing at twice the rate of younger individuals. A gray divorce is a divorce late in life; a divorce after 50 years of age.
There are a few reasons for this:
- Many of those 50 and above have been married and divorced before. Divorce rates rise for people who have already been divorced previously.
- A lot of people decided to divorce a long time ago, but also decided to wait until children were out of the house. With people leaving the home later, divorce also happens later.
- Some people haven’t decided to divorce when their children leave, but after their children leave they find that they aren’t as interested in the marriage as they were.
- Retirement can make it difficult for spouses to adjust. They may find that they no longer have anything in common or they aren’t comfortable spending so much time together.
- Financial issues can come to a head. In the older generation, financial issues may become more apparent as they start to near retirement age.
- They may finally feel that they are “allowed” to divorce. The older generation didn’t find divorce as acceptable. Now, divorce is seen as something healthy to do if you are dissatisfied in your marriage.
So, these gray divorces are happening more frequently. And they come with some challenges — although some things are more simple.
What Are the Issues of Gray Divorce?
First, usually in a gray divorce, child custody isn’t an issue. So, there is a way in which gray divorce can be “easier” than other divorces, though of course, no divorce is simple.
But there are more pressing issues with gray divorce:
- Retirement accounts. What happens if one spouse has been saving for retirement but the other hasn’t?
- Spousal support. What if one spouse hasn’t worked for over twenty years or thirty years to support the other?
- Division of assets. How many assets have both of them collected? How will these assets be distributed?
- Competency. Are both parties fully competent when they’re divorcing? Can they make these decisions themselves?
- Other considerations: What about adult children? What about long-term care or estate planning?
These issues need to be countered with solid representation. Want to learn more? Contact the experts at the Sampair Group.