As couples get older, kids move out, and they get on in their years, the chances of getting divorced can actually increase. Baby Boomers born between between 1946 and 1964 are divorcing at an increased rate. A gray divorce is the common term used now to describe a divorce between couples older than 50 years old. Getting a divorce in your 50s and 60s are relatively common and can happen for a variety of reasons.
The term gray divorce likely comes from the fact that most baby boomers over the age of 60 years old have gray hair. It implies age. Gray divorce is often used in the context of long term marriages where married couples have stayed together until their children were up and out and on their own.
Gray divorce can vary from other divorces based on how long the couple has been married. Most couples in their 60s or older have been married for many years. They may have accumulated significant wealth and may be retired or on the verge of returement. Long term marriages sometimes are more likely to end up with spousal support as part of the divorce than couples who divorce after only a few years.
Social Security and Retirement Plans Are Considerations
Since both parties are older, social security benefits and retirement plan benefits are often part of the settlement discussions. If a couple is already receiving social security benefits or retirement plan income, these sources of income will certainly come into play. Even life insurance will become an important asset in the divorce.
Social security benefits are a particular point of interest. Older spouses in a divorce may qualify for a portion of a partner’s social security. This responsibility may extend past the divorce, depending on how long they have been married, and will be considered when looking at spousal support.
Retirement and pension plans also become a factor in the divorce. Most couples that have been married this long means that partners are vested in retirement and pension plans. A part of those plans may need to be considered as part of marital assets as a result.
Life insurance policies may come into play as well. Depending on the type of policy, the payout could affect the spouse of the deceased, which must be addressed in divorce proceedings.
Gray Divorces Are Common
As the U.S. population increases, so too does the number of Gray divorces. Some experts believe that it is due to added stress within families when dealing with issues related to aging and retirement. Baby Boomers are seeing an increased rate of divorce. Among U.S. adults ages 50 and older, the divorce rate has roughly doubled since the 1990s. As men and women retire from the workforce and spend more time at home with each other, tension within the household may increase. Couples often seek a new chapter when differences in the goals of married life after retirement is revealed.
If you are getting older and considering getting a divorce, discuss it with Bradley Bayan, a leading Redwood City divorce lawyer, first. There are a number of things to consider before committing to your decision. To make an informed decision, you will want to look at the impact on marital property and sources of income. Whether you are a baby boomer or a millenial, contact the Law Offices of Bradley Bayan at (650) 364-3600 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your divorce.