What’s a “Gray Divorce”?

gray divorce
Divorce Family Law Law

What’s a “Gray Divorce”?

When you think of divorce, most people imagine young couples or people experiencing a midlife crisis. Did you know, however, that divorce rates are skyrocketing among people who are 50 and older? These are sometimes called “gray divorces,” and they can be incredibly challenging. If you’re considering a gray divorce, there are several considerations to be aware of.

Here’s what you need to know:

First Things First – Why is Gray Divorce Becoming More Common?

The overall divorce rate has decreased in recent years. This is because divorce is becoming less common for younger adults and millennials. Despite that decrease, however, there’s one notable population where divorce rates are increasing: the 50+ age group. In fact, the divorce rate has doubled for U.S. adults ages 50 and older since the 1990s.

The risk of divorce for adults ages 50 and older is also higher when a couple has only been married a short time. For example, adults who have been married for less than ten years have a divorce rate of 21 per 1,000 married people in 2015, compared to the divorce rate of 13 people per 1,000 for adults ages 50 and older who have been married 20-30 years.

Don’t let those numbers fool you, though: many gray divorces happen among couples who have been married 30 or more years. According to the experts, gray divorce is becoming more common for the following reasons:

  • Financial disagreements

  • Growing apart

  • Individualists

  • Better health and longer life expectancy

  • Addiction

  • And more

4 Challenges of Gray Divorce

Regardless of the reason, gray divorce involves a series of unique challenges. Here are some of the largest:

1. Dividing assets

Dividing assets is a significant consideration in any separation. Because gray divorce typically involves established and “settled” people, the process can be especially difficult. This is even more true for couples who have complex investment portfolios, assets, and savings together.

2. Splitting retirement benefits

Many people spend decades planning for retirement. Unfortunately, retirement benefits are subject to division since they are marital assets. Because of this, it’s smart to work with a divorce attorney to understand the retirement implications of divorce.

3. Settling on alimony

Depending on a couple’s unique financial situation, one spouse may be required to pay alimony to the other. This can be difficult to settle on, and agreeing on a number can be a long, costly process.

4. Emotional struggles

Divorce is difficult for everyone, including the separated couple and any adult children they may have. When a couple has been together for many years, their divorce upends reality for multiple parties.

Facing a Divorce? Hire a Skilled Divorce Attorney to Represent You

Navigating a gray divorce requires the help of a compassionate divorce lawyer who can guide you through your new reality. Here at MGM Law, our team specializes in collaborative divorce processes and will help you step into the next phase of your life as seamlessly and easily as possible.

Contact us today to learn more.

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