They are called gray divorces. Divorce among people age fifty and older has steadily increased over the years. In fact, between 1990 and 2010, the divorce rate for people fifty years old or older doubled. Today, twenty-five percent of people who are divorced are over fifty.
Despite being more mature, the emotional stress associated with divorce is just as intense for senior couples as it for members of younger generations. While they typically don’t have to worry about child custody issues, there are some unique challenges older divorcees face that younger couples do not.
Here are some considerations for couples in Buford who divorce later in life.
DIVORCE FOR COUPLES FIFTY AND OLDER
Alimony is much more likely to be granted in cases of older spouses divorcing than younger ones. That’s because these marriages have lasted longer than fifteen years and in many cases an older spouse’s earning power and employment potential decreases with age.
A judge is more likely to be concerned about a senior spouse being able to maintain their standard of living or ability to support themselves following a divorce.
The same thinking applies when it comes to the division of assets like bank accounts, investment portfolios and retirement accounts that have been accumulated during a marriage. Divorcing couples in their twenties and thirties have an ample amount of time to build and, if necessary, replenish their asset base.
However, older couples in their fifties and sixties have significantly less time and a higher amount of resources to rebuild after a divorce. This can make the equitable distribution of marital assets trickier for older couples.
DO OLDER COUPLES HAVE A MORE DIFFICULT TIME WITH DIVORCE?
One marital asset that also causes a greater level of conflict in older divorces is the family home. Longer marriages mean more time spent at the couple’s home and a deeper level of emotional attachment to the property.
An older spouse may find it more difficult to let go of the home where they raised their children and spent a substantial part of their life. However, if they fight to keep the house, they may have to part with other high-value marital assets.
An experienced divorce attorney is essential to achieving an optimal settlement for older couples considering divorce.