Captain & Tennille Split Illustrates the Growing Popularity of "Gray" Divorce


Pasadena divorce lawyers often find that celebrity divorces illustrate many of the issues ordinary couples face when they decide to end their marriage. The recent announcement of the divorce of Captain & Tennille illustrates the growing trend of "gray" divorce.

Toni Tennille, 73, filed for divorce from Daryl Dragon, better known as the Captain, 71, on January 16. The couple had been married for 39 years. Ironically, they're best known for their 1970s hit "Love Will Keep Us Together."

A recent study from Bowling Green State University found that one in four divorcing couples is now over the age of 50. Some file for the same reasons that younger couples seek a divorce, such as infidelity or problems caused by one partner's drug or alcohol abuse. Others, however, are simply unhappy with their marriage and see no reason to spend their golden years with someone who doesn't bring them joy.

Tennille was the one who filed the divorce papers, but she has not publicly stated a reason for the split. Dragon told reporters that he was surprised by her decision. There has been some speculation that Dragon's medical issues may have played a role, since he suffers from a neurological condition similar to Parkinson's disease. Both Dragon and Tennille would be eligible for Medicare because of their ages, but Medicare does not cover the cost of long-term rehabilitative therapy, at-home nursing care, or treatments still classified as being in clinical trial mode.

In any divorce that involves spouses over the age of 50, medical concerns should play a role in the settlement. If one spouse suffers from a serious condition that would impair his or her ability to be self supporting, this must be taken into account when creating a settlement. Meeting with an attorney who has experience in helping clients over the age of 50 plan for their divorce is the best way to ensure that the split is handled appropriately.

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