A new term has entered our lexicon — a “gray divorce.” As the rates of divorcing couples over 50 rises, this term is used more and more to describe older couples who decide to part ways after a long-term marriage. The causes of a gray divorce vary, as with any type of divorce. However, some common causes are that the parties have grown apart, which becomes more apparent after certain life events happen. Couples experiencing the empty nest may face a similar issue; when all of the children have gone, they sometimes realize that they have little left in common. When they reach retirement age, some couples find out they have very different expectations as to what post-retirement life will look like.
Regardless of the cause, spouses considering a gray divorce should carefully review the issues unique to their situation. For instance, long-term marriages are the most common situations in which a judge may award alimony. An analysis of the earning capacity and economic situation of both spouses is crucial. The division of retirement assets is another critical issue — and one that is often complex.
A couple that has lasted so many years together may have communication skills that make mediation or collaborative law a good alternative to reach an amicable resolution. It is important to find a legal professional that can help you address all of the issues that may arise. At Held Law Firm, we have attorneys on staff who specialize in mediation and collaborative law. Please give us a call if you would like to set up a consultation to discuss your divorce.