A gray divorce is defined as one which takes place between spouses who are over the age of 50. Over the last decade, the divorce rates across this age population have doubled. Even more surprising, the divorce rate for individuals who are 65 or older have tripled. As one can imagine, there are far more issues to take into consideration when a couple have been married 20 or 30 years versus a young couple who have only been together two years.
Spouses who have been together a significant number of years, and are closely approaching advanced age, are likely to be more financially stable. In addition, there are usually many more valuable assets to be divided and disbursed. These can include things such as retirement accounts, stocks, valuable assets such as art collections that have been accumulated over time, Social Security benefits, and life insurance beneficiaries. Most, if not all, of these are issues that would not arise in the divorce of a young couple with many more years ahead to recoup any losses.
Aside from monetary divisions within a gray divorce, there are often sentimental items that become a source of contention as well. When a couple have raised children together, become grandparents, and worked hard over many years to build a life, it can be extremely difficult to walk away. Things that may be priceless to them, but have no financial value, can only truly be equitably divided between mutual agreement.
These issues and more are what make gray divorces such unique matters. If not handled properly, a late in life divorce can have significant financial repercussions. It is highly recommended that such matters be advised by an experienced attorney who can make sure all protective measures are in place for elder years.