Marriages go through many seasons over the years. Many couples travel through a variety of major life events together such as moving, having kids, watching kids grow up, and retirement. Sometimes, however, the changes that come with the seasons of life do not end up comporting with a marriage. As years change, so do people. In recent times, there has been an uptick in what has come to be known as “gray divorce.”
What is a Gray Divorce?
A gray divorce typically refers to a divorce involving spouses over the age of 50. These later in life marriages can happen for a number of reasons. Maybe the couple was on rocky ground for some time, but wanted to stay together until the kids grew up and moved out. Maybe retirement has a couple spending more time together or has forced a substantial change in relationship dynamics to the point where it no longer seems workable. For whatever reason, there has been an increase in the number of gray divorces in recent years.
Gray divorces present a number of unique qualities that should be noted. The fact that these are individuals getting divorced later in life brings up several important issues. This is mainly true because it is more likely to mark the end of a long term marriage. Those that have been married for a long period of time are more likely to have a substantial amount of marital assets and, perhaps, debt that will need to be divided during divorce proceedings.
One particularly important asset type that will need to be addressed during the division of the marital assets includes retirement accounts. When you are over 50, your retirement accounts play a huge role in your financial security, or lack thereof, in the not so distant future. If you are planning to get a divorce and you are over 50, you will need to make a serious evaluation of your financial health and retirement prospects. Divorce may even mean that you do not get to retire nearly as soon as you would have hoped.
A longer marriage also means that alimony is likely to come into play. If you and your spouse have a significant earning discrepancy that has been in place for a significant number of years, it is highly likely that you will have to pay your soon to be former spouse alimony for an extended period of time. If you stayed at home and raised your children while your spouse worked out of the home, you may have seriously reduced earning capacity. Combine that with the fact that you are in the later years of your life and a court may find it necessary for you to be awarded alimony to cover your living expenses for the foreseeable future.
Family Law Attorney
If you are 50 years old or older, there is still a lot of life left to live. If divorce is your path to a new, fresh chapter in your life, the team at Cohen Family Law is here to help. We want to make sure that your best interests are protected and that you are set up for success long after the divorce has been finalized. Contact us today.