In recent years, we have seen a rising number of couples in their 50s, their 60s, and beyond filing for divorce. Experts believe there are numerous contributing factors for why this could be (longer lifespans, greater financial independence of women, etc.), but these divorces—often known as "gray divorces"—frequently require added considerations in the courtroom that distinguish them from other divorce cases.
What Makes Gray Divorce Different?
Because the spouses in a gray divorce are at a different station in life than younger couples, there are a number of circumstances that need to be parsed during the divorce process. Particularly, property division and alimony decisions must address new factors that typically would not be a consideration for a younger family.
- Retirement funds and pensions must be divided. The division of these assets is critical in a gray divorce and a fair distribution is essential to ensuring the well-being of both parties post-divorce.
- Estate plans must be reviewed. If the spouses have established a trust for themselves or have included themselves in each other's estate plan, then these ties will likely be severed and alter the financial outlook for each party.
- Social Security benefits must be considered. Because one or both spouses may qualify for Social Security benefits, these benefits must be factored into alimony and property division considerations.
- The health of each party is a key factor. Later in life, health considerations are more urgent and often need to be a part of the conversation when alimony and property division is being decided.
These are just some of the numerous factors that require a careful approach in a gray divorce. If you are facing the end of your marriage and believe that these considerations will play a large role in your divorce, we invite you to contact our skilled and experienced Staten Island divorce attorneys at Casella & Casella LLP today.
Get dedicated, responsive advocacy on your side during this difficult time. Call our offices at (718) 557-9137 now.