Gray divorce rates on the rise as seniors live longer

Posted by Lauren S. CohenAug 20, 20190 Comments

In New York and across the country, life expectancy has reached new heights, but for married couples, this also means a longer life together. For some older couples, this extra time together means experiencing new things and growing closer, but for others, it means growing apart. As a result, so-called ‘gray divorces” have become more common among seniors, and the challenges these types of separations pose to high-asset couples can be unique.

Gray divorce rates have more than doubled in recent years, and today, approximately one quarter of all marriages among couples over the age of 50 end in divorce. In many cases, these divorces involve shared assets and financial accounts, potentially raising questions about issues surrounding spousal maintenance, divesting interest in shared business ventures and the distribution of funds from investment accounts.

According to an interview conducted by Considerable, one of the biggest concerns when splitting assets in a gray divorce is that time is limited for those who need to recuperate losses. Couples who divorce at a younger age often have time to re-establish themselves financially as individuals; however, those who divorce in later years can find themselves with limited options to do the same. Because of this, gray divorce cases can add additional pressure to a separation that is already fraught with emotion.

To remedy this pressure and remove emotion from the equation, divorcing seniors may turn to the assistance of a family law attorney for representation. A divorce attorney may stand in as a legal representative who takes care of concerns that lead to emotional disagreements, thereby relieving stress and ensuring that everyone in the divorce case is treated fairly and with respect. A divorce attorney may also be a vital resource for divorced seniors who feel that they have received a less-than equitable outcome and would like to examine options for spousal support modification.