A popular term is making its way around the family law industry – Gray Divorce. This is also sometimes referred to as a Silver Splitter or a Diamond Divorce. Whichever term you prefer, a gray divorce happens when a couple over the age of 50 is divorcing. Divorce is complicated enough on its own, but ending a marriage later in life takes on new challenges. The truth is many couples are not prepared for a gray divorce’s unique legal issues. This is why a gray divorce can become so complicated.
Why Do Gray Divorces Happen?
There are no set reasons why a couple may decide to end their divorce. But, according to Forbes, there are three main reasons why spouses are ready to call it quits later in life:
- Many couples married and had children earlier in life. This means they are experiencing ‘empty nest syndrome’ in their 50s and are taking a hard look at what they want out of the second half of their life. In the second half of life, you may want different things than you did in your 20s and 30s. Some people may want a second career, to travel more, or to live in a different place.
2. Couples are also looking at what they don’t want during the second half of their life, and often it is the other person. This may seem harsh but some couples may have stayed in an unhappy marriage because of the children. Since people live to be over 85 years old, they still have time to change who they want to be with for the next 20 years.
3. Financial resources have changed since their parent’s days. Many households have two incomes, allowing both partners to be financially independent if they choose to split.
Another reason for divorce can be that divorce tends to repeat itself. Later in life, a couple may be on their second or third marriage, and they see there is still life after a divorce (or two).
Some people change when they retire, and their spouses may not like the new person. Perhaps they are too outgoing or too introverted. Either way, the above reasons show that couples may not want to put up with each other when they don’t have to.
The fact is, since the stigma of divorce has lessened, the number of gray divorces has risen.
Why a gray divorce can become complicated
Most divorces are complicated, but ending a marriage later in life has unique hurdles to overcome. In a long-term marriage, grown children and grandchildren have to be considered, more property and assets that have been acquired throughout the marriage, and a change of work status if one or both spouses are retired.
Other items that make a gray divorce complicated are:
- Retirement accounts
- Social security
- Income and spousal support
- Division of all property and assets acquired through the years
- Health insurance – including health care, medicare, health directives, and end of life directives
- Level of physical and mental competency
- Estate planning – which can include a Will, medical and financial power of attorney, and advance care directives
There is much to consider when going through a gray divorce. You may need a Texas divorce attorney, a financial consultant, and an experienced estate planning attorney.
Working with a Knowledgeable Texas Family Law Attorney
For those enduring a gray divorce, be sure to speak with an experienced family law attorney who specializes in gray divorce, and can create a strong foundation for your separation.
Your Texas family law attorney understands the best way to handle your unique situation. One plan they may recommend is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). This court order process can allow specific retirement plans to be divided. This may be necessary depending on the type of retirement plans you both have.
You may have heard of a pre-nap but a post-nuptial agreement is a contract established by both spouses after the marriage. A post-nuptial agreement outlines the ownership of current assets. This will allow you to avoid litigation and move the divorce forward – saving you time and money. Perhaps writing a post-nuptial agreement will work if you and your spouse are still on reasonably good terms.
C.E. Borman & Associates can help with your gray divorce
Once you have clear expectations of what you want your next chapter in life to include (and not include), contact C.E. Borman & Associates to get your gray divorce started and finalized. You may have complicated questions when it comes to your gray divorce and our divorce attorneys will answer all your questions.