What issues are commonly fought over in gray divorces?

Posted by Lauren S. CohenOct 18, 20160 Comments

Divorces of older couples have become a more and more common thing here in the United States. Sometimes, such “gray” divorces involve some pretty significant disputes. While disputes can come up in divorces of couples of any age, what age a couple is can impact what issues could be particularly likely to be the focus-points of disputes. This is because a divorcing person's age can impact what their big priorities, concerns and worries are in a divorce.

For older individuals, one thing that can be a major area of concern is their retirement. Given the major financial shocks a divorce can have, an older divorcing individual might be quite worried about how the divorce will impact their ability to retire and the quality of their retirement.

So, it's not too surprising that financial issues are a common point of dispute in gray divorces. Some financial issues that a survey of member attorneys by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers indicates are commonly fought over in divorces of individuals over 50 are:

  • Alimony. The survey indicates that around 83 percent of couples in gray divorces get into disputes over this issue.
  • Division of retirement savings. Around 62 percent of couples going through a gray divorce fight over this issue, the survey suggests.
  • Division of business interests. According to the survey, fighting over this issue is something 60 percent of gray divorce couples do.

There are various ways disputes over financial issues can be dealt with in gray divorces. Which approach would be the best for a given older divorcing individual to take is influenced by a range of factors. Experienced lawyers can help individuals going through a gray divorce navigate disputes (such as disputes regarding alimony, retirement assets, business interests or other financial matters) that come up.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, “Older Americans Are Jeopardizing Their Retirement With Divorce,” Carol Hymowitz, Sept. 29, 2016