A new term has entered our society – a Gray Divorce. What is a gray divorce? The phrase “gray divorce” refers to an older couple divorcing after a long term marriage. The causes of a gray divorce vary as with other divorces but common causes are that the parties have grown apart and that becomes more apparent when certain life events happen. Couples experiencing the empty nest when all of the children have gone sometimes realize that they have little left in common. When the parties retire and couples find out they have very different expectation as to what post retirement life will encompass. According to the U.S Census Bureau, divorce rates were the highest among both sexes, aged 55 – 64.
Spouses that have been in a less than ideal marriage may choose to divorce after they feel their children have reached a level of stability that their divorce may have lesser of an impact. The parties may also be at a financial place where they can see a division of assets and how it will provide for two separate paths.
Regardless of the cause, spouses considering a gray divorce have critical issues that deserve special attention. Long term marriages are the most common situations where alimony is awarded. An analysis of the earning capacity and economic situation of both spouses is crucial. Another critical issue is retirement division. The division of retirement assets is often complex and with gray divorces the retirement assets may have already commenced and decisions made such as survivor options.
A couple that has lasted years together may have communication skills that make mediation or collaborative law a good alternative to reach an amicable resolution because they have probably gotten through some rough patches. It is important to find a legal professional that can help you address all of the issues that may arise during your divorce and guide you through the process. If you would like to set up a consultation to discuss your divorce, contact us at (865) 637-6550 or visit www.heldlawfirm.com for more information.