According to a 2013 study published by Bowling Green State University, the divorce rate among middle-aged and older adults has doubled between 1990 and 2010. “Gray divorce,” a divorce that occurs among people age 50 years or older, accounts for 1 in 4 divorces in the United States, and nearly 1 in 10 divorcées are age 65 years or older.
As cited in the study, divorces among older American couples may be attributed to a variety of factors, including society’s growing acceptance of divorce as a common practice. Many people are filing for divorce at earlier stages in their lives and remarrying later in life. Those who are in second marriages are 2.5 times more likely to divorce than those in their first marriages. Also, as more women integrate into the American labor force, they secure the financial resources to support themselves outside of marriage. Finally, as life expectancies grow at an exponential rate, more people are exposed to the risk of divorce.
Financial considerations of gray divorces may include retirement, alimony, division of assets as well as insurance policies for property, disability, life, long-term care and casualty. In divorce cases involving long-term marriage, alimony is rarely if ever granted for life without a severe and debilitating illness, although it is frequently granted until retirement age, whereas, in short-term marriages, rehabilitative alimony may be granted until a spouse gets back on his or her feet. Regardless of whether it is a no-fault or at-fault divorce, retirement resources may be cut in half. Although pension plans may offset alimony, spouses should consider the tax implications.
Divorce in any circumstance can emotionally weigh on the spouses involved but, in gray divorces, the financial complexities can be overwhelming and, at times, difficult to navigate. The lawyers at Blodnick, Fazio & Associates, P.C. have experience representing spouses in all aspects of matrimonial and family law litigation, including pre- and post-nuptial agreements, divorce, alternative dispute resolution, maintenance (alimony), domestic violence issues, separation agreements, property division, and modifications of agreement with the goal of helping clients peaceably resolve potentially contentious issues. Please contact the firm for a free consultation by calling (516) 280-7105.