The Pew Research Center reports that since the 1990s divorce among those age 50 and older has boomed. The phenomenon has earned the moniker “gray divorce.” The issues gray divorcees face often differ from those of their younger counterparts, so it is important to identify what concerns gray divorcees may have when divorce is on the horizon.
Divorce and children
People in their 30s and 40s are often still raising minor children at home. Both parties generally love their children so the fact that they may not have their children in their care 24/7 post-divorce is a major concern. The children of gray divorcees, however, are likely grown adults living lives of their own. That is not to say divorce will not affect them emotionally — it likely will. However, divorce issues such as child custody and child support are generally not present in a gray divorce. Instead, a gray divorce may focus on other divorce issues, including property division and spousal support.
Financial issues in a gray divorce
Financial issues often take center stage in a gray divorce. If the couple is nearing retirement or is already retired, both parties are likely concerned that they get their fair share of retirement assets. Pennsylvania is an “equitable distribution” state for property division purposes. This means that marital assets will be divided based on fairness, even if it does not result in an even 50/50 split. This includes retirement accounts.
Similarly, spousal support can be a major issue in a gray divorce. This is especially true if one spouse earned significantly less than the other while married or stayed out of the workforce entirely while married. These individuals may be awarded spousal support, at least temporarily, to allow them to get the time, experience and education necessary to support themselves.
Learn more about your options
Ultimately, if you are facing a gray divorce you will want to explore all your legal rights and options. With the right help you can make informed decisions that are in your best interests.