Over the past few decades, there has been a downward trend in divorce rates primarily driven by millennials. On the other hand, we have seen divorces skyrocket among those who are 50 and older. Many are wondering what’s leading to the increase in late life divorces, otherwise known as gray divorce, and the potential implications that come with one.
When you’ve built a long relationship with someone, separating can become complicated. Our Pasadena family law attorneys at Schweitzer Law Partners are committed to helping you through the process of dissolving your marriage and the challenges that come with a gray divorce.
The Increasing Rate of Late Life Divorces
Across the age groups, divorce rates have flattened, except for one— baby boomers. A study by two Bowling Green State University sociologists found that the later-life divorce rate has doubled in the past two decades.
What is the reasoning behind this phenomenon? One of the most prominent is that the stigma for divorce is going away. Boomers who grew up in the 50s, 60s, and 70s were surrounded by long-lasting marriages and rarely saw divorces. Now, it’s more common and acceptable to separate, so it’s becoming a viable option for those who no longer want to be together. Life expectancy has also increased, so many couples do not want to live the rest of their remaining days in an unhappy marriage.
4 Unique Challenges of Late-Life Divorces
If you are about to face a gray divorce, it can be helpful to know the potential problems you may encounter and how to navigate them.
1. Dividing Assets
A significant portion of the divorce process involves identifying your shared marital assets so that it can be divided into the settlement. Younger couples may have no problem separating pre-marital assets from marital assets, but the same cannot be said for older spouses who have spent decades together. All those years also means that they’ve had plenty of time to build complex investment portfolios, savings, and assets. Valuing property, automobiles, and the estate can become a lengthy and costly process.
2. Splitting Up Retirement Benefits
Many people dream about their retirement and spend much of their adult lives saving up for it. They might not be aware that retirement is subject to division because they are considered marital assets. This can throw a wrench in your post-work plans, which is why it’s wise to consult an attorney or financial advisor before diving into a divorce.
3. Determining Alimony
One party may have to pay spousal support. This can be quite tricky if one spouse is unable to survive without alimony, and the paying spouse does not have enough to support themselves after paying.
4. It can be Difficult for Adult Children
Much of the pitfalls that come with a gray divorce surround the financial implications, but it can also affect those around you. For example, adult children may find it difficult to cope with this news, mainly because it’ll upend everything they’ve known.
Speak with a Pasadena Divorce Attorney Today
Despite the potential challenges associated with a gray divorce, it should not stop you from moving forward with it if that is what will make you happy. During difficult moments such as a divorce, the guidance of a skilled lawyer can make a world of difference in protecting your interests, assets, and emotions. Our team will walk you through the delicate process as quickly and painlessly as possible so that you can move on to the next chapter of your life.