Special Issues Arising in Gray Divorce
While the divorce process is the same regardless of age, there are unique challenges and issues that are faced by couples who divorce later in life. A breakup involving spouses older than 50 is sometimes dubbed “gray divorce.”
Longer life expectancies and a growing acceptance of the normality of divorce are two contributors to the rise of divorce over age 50. A couple’s life situation can also be a factor. Some individuals might still have minor children. Others could be grandparents. Some might be ending a 20-year marriage whereas others might be on a second or third marriage. What is generally the same, however, is that most spouses in a gray divorce are closer to retirement or already retired. In addition, their financial situation is likely more complex than when a couple divorces in their 20s or 30s.
Finances are among the biggest issues in a gray divorce. Separating retirement accounts and pensions or potentially selling a family home are major decisions. Dividing assets or taking on a mortgage for a new house may delay retirement. Depending on the real estate market, selling a jointly owned home may be necessary in order for one or both spouses to buy a new property. Couples that own businesses or other investments, including rental properties, will also need to determine how to divide these assets and account for capital gains issues. In addition, couples will need to update their estate planning documents. In some cases, this may mean changing beneficiaries on insurance, trusts, and other accounts.
Divorce is never easy, and when a couple is at or close to retirement age, ending a marriage can be especially complicated. Having experienced legal counsel on your side can minimize the risk of a divorce causing future financial hardships.
The Law Offices of Jennifer Courtney, P.C. in Yardley, Pennsylvania can help you navigate a gray divorce and protect your financial future. Please call our office at 215.493.3360 or contact us online to arrange a consultation.