While longevity may be a sign of a healthy relationship, a marriage can
begin to fall apart after any amount of time. In fact, the dissolution
of marriage between spouses aged 50 and older, known as “grey divorce”
may be on the rise.
One study out of Bowling Green State University in Ohio concluded that the divorce
rate among Americans 50 and older doubled between 1990 and 2010. While
a “grey” divorce may sound melancholy, it can often be the
best path forward for many spouses who are looking to begin the next chapter
in their lives. If you would like more information on this topic, please
visit Arizona Family Law Attorneys online at
Grey Divorces on the Rise
As couples age together, their circumstances and preferences can change
substantially. After the kids have left the nest and retirement waits
over the horizon, what they find appealing in life and in a partner may
change as well. While the researchers out of Bowling Green State University
only looked at the raw data, there are several reasons why the U.S. may
be seeing increases in grey divorcing. On one hand, social stigmas that
have traditionally surrounded divorce may be beginning to fall away in
the United States. Additionally, the average life expectancy for both
men and women is also on the rise. Longer marriages coupled with the reduction
in societal pressure may be allowing a wider range of older couples to
explore the possibility of divorce.
Considerations for Grey Divorces
While each divorce will be governed by similar legal mechanisms regardless
of age, several areas may require additional attention during a grey divorce.
Older spouses may spend decades investing in joint accounts, building
assets, and creating memories together that may add value to even the
smallest possession. When a divorce occurs, proceedings can often be complex.
Spousal maintenance: The terms of spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, can be influenced
by numerous factors and when at least one spouse is working, it is a likelihood
that is best to plan for. While younger couples typically have short-term
agreements designed to help a spouse acclimate to a single income, in
grey divorces, agreements may be set for longer periods of time. It is
critical to consider the effects of spousal maintenance on post-divorce
incomes and budgets.
Retirement planning: Financial issues can often be at the center of disputes and between 401Ks,
social security, and other investment accounts, mature spouses often have
more complex financial assets. After a divorce, the resources from previous
retirement plans may simply not be there. When the majority of a divorcee’s
earning years are behind them, they must consider what it may take to
rebuild adequate financial savings and reevaluate retirement.
If you and your spouse are considering a divorce and would like to learn
more about your options, contact Arizona Family Law Attorneys. We understand
what you are going through and can help you and your spouse through the
legal, social, and financial hurdles which lie ahead. Our legal team focuses
exclusively on family law and can provide you with compassionate, effective
representation when you need it most.
Visit our Phoenix divorce attorneys online at www.greydivorcing.com
to request a confidential case evaluation.