Although divorce rates for younger couples in Arizona are declining, older couples are divorcing at increasingly high rates. It’s become so common that divorce among couples married more than 20 to 30 years has been dubbed “gray divorce.” Given the unique issues and considerations involved in gray divorce, it takes a skilled divorce attorney to help you avoid the pitfalls of ending a lengthy marriage.
At Cohen Family Law, we understand the intricacies of gray divorce and regularly help older couples navigate the divorce process. Whether you are looking to end your marriage amicably with a negotiated agreement or you are involved in a contested divorce, we will provide you with trustworthy advice so that you can make informed decisions about your future.
We are keenly aware that gray divorce is a complicated and difficult decision to make and will handle your case with care and professionalism. Please contact our office today for a free consultation with one of our gray divorce lawyers.
Reasons for Gray Divorce in Arizona
According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, the divorce rate among adults ages 50 and over has roughly doubled since the 1990s, but it remains less common than divorce among those under 50.
The Pew report indicates that the rise in gray divorce is due in part to the aging of the Baby Boom generation (ranged in age from 51 to 69.). This group had unprecedented levels of divorce during their young adulthood, and that initial marital instability contributes to the rise in divorce among older couples because remarriages tend to be less stable than first marriages.
The divorce rate for older couples in remarriages is twice the rate of those in first marriages.
Additionally, another factor involved in gray divorce is the duration of a couple’s marriage. The divorce rate is significantly higher for couples who have been married less than 10 years than those who have been married 20 years or more.
While these factors contribute to rising divorce rates for people 50 and over, the reasons for gray divorce may be more basic: many older couples have grown unsatisfied with their marriages and are seeking to pursue their interests and independence. Perhaps the children are grown and out of the house and the spouses have grown apart or they have different views about how to spend their retirement?
Regardless of the reasons, the challenges of gray divorce presents make having an experienced Arizona divorce lawyer essential. When you consult with Cohen Family Law, we will take the time to understand your circumstances and work to protect your interests.
Special Considerations in a Gray Divorce
Divorce after many years of marriage comes with several considerations that younger couples may not face, including:
- Retirement — While the most valuable asset for many young couples is the family home, retirement accounts play a large role in the marital estates of older couples. Such assets are subject to equitable distribution in a divorce through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). Ultimately, it takes a skilled gray divorce lawyer to make sure your retirement income is protected to the fullest extent possible.
- Alimony — Spousal support is also a more significant factor in gray divorce, which may not be ordered in divorces involving younger couples because the marriage has not lasted for a long period of time. If an older couple has been married for a significant period of time, permanent alimony may be awarded. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you explore all your options to satisfy your spousal support obligations or help you obtain the support you need and deserve.
- Social Security — Ex-spouses are entitled to Social Security benefits based on the other spouse’s earning record if they (1) were married 10 years or more, (2) are not eligible for a higher benefit amount on their record, and (3) do not remarry.
Of course, there are a multitude of other issues to contend with in a gray divorce, such as:
- Selling the family residence
- Dependent costs
- Life Insurance
- Grandparents’ rights
- Updating estate plans
At Cohen Family Law, we are highly experienced in handling gray divorce and have a well-deserved reputation as dedicated advocates of our clients. Knowing all too well that divorce is a difficult family transition, especially for couples who have been married for a long period of time, we will provide you with knowledge, compassion and the personal attention you deserve.
Contact Our Experienced Arizona Gray Divorce Lawyers
Let’s face it: a marital breakup is never easy, but a gray divorce is a complicated, life-altering event. By working with the right divorce lawyer, you can make informed decisions about your future and your family. For those who wish to avoid divorce litigation, mediation provides a more amicable way to resolve your marital issues. Trust Cohen Family Law to protect your interests, inside and outside of the courtroom. Please contact our office today for a free consultation.