Over the past few decades, the divorce rates across the country have been on the rise. At first glance, it may be tempting to attribute this trend to the younger generation, however, older generations such as the baby boomers are also playing their part. A study out of Bowling Green State University in Ohio found that on average, the divorce rate among those over 50 years of age doubled between 1990 and 2010. Known as “gray divorces”, the dissolution of marriage between older couples is occurring nearly equally between previous divorcees and those in their first marriage, the study found.
Although the study only looks at the raw data, the researchers do suggest several possible reasons for the increasing divorce rates. One of the main theories revolves around the reduction of the social stigmas that have traditionally surrounded divorce. While every couple, regardless of age, will go through the same overall process for divorce there may be areas which require special attention in a gray divorce.
Factors to consider in a gray divorce can include:
- Financial planning: Spouses who have been together for decades may often have more complex assets and accounts than younger couples. Social security, investment accounts, and other financial securities can often come into play during the division and distribution of assets and must be properly accounted for.
- The division of assets: New York is an equitable distribution state, meaning that if a case goes to court, any marital property will be divided fairly, not necessarily equally. The amount of time, money, energy, and memories associated with assets can be overwhelming and it is good to begin developing a strategy as soon as possible. The family home, for example, can often be a central point of contention.
- Children: A divorce can take a heavy emotional toll on a family and while your children may have left the nest long ago, it is still important to consider how it may affect them. While the issues you experience will be different than couples with young children, issue such as inheritance and financial support may still come into play.
- Alimony: Another financial consideration for marriages where at least one spouse works is spousal support. Alimony is almost always considered by the court in long marriages and older couples should plan for it as a likelihood of their divorce.
Compassionate Divorce Attorneys
While the phrase “gray divorce” may sound ominous, when a marriage begins to fall apart, divorce may be the best path forward. Planning as soon as possible can make a vital difference in your continued financial stability and the wellbeing of your family. If you are currently working through a divorce or believe that the situation may be approaching, contact our Westchester County divorce lawyers. At Friedman & Friedman, Attorneys at Law, we have more than 30 years of collective experience helping spouses to protect their interests during the process of divorce.
Call to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about your options for divorce.