Recently, a trend has emerged among older American couples. There has been an uptick in older couples getting a divorce which is referred to as a “gray divorce”. Divorce among older adults can have its unique challenges due to the age of the couple and the number of ears they have been married.
Income and spousal support
Many older and traditional couples had one spouse that stayed home to take care of the children and the home. When this couple gets a divorce later in life, it can leave one party without any income before retirement. Although this person may be able to get a job, spousal support may also be awarded.
Division of assets
Older adults typically have accumulated significant assets. The division of assets in a gray divorce can be contentious. There are issues among social security and retirement benefits, investment accounts, and life insurance policies. There can also be vacation homes and other property that needs to be divided.
People who have been married for many years may forget that their spouse is listed as the beneficiary for most of their retirement accounts, insurance policies, bank accounts, etc. Powers of attorney and health care proxies may also list the firmer spouse. A person should review all policies and estate plans to make sure that their ex-spouse is no longer listed.
Speaking with an attorney
A person who is considering a divorce may want to speak with a legal professional who is skilled in family law. An attorney understands that each divorce is unique and can make sure their client’s best interests are protected.