Gray divorce refers to a divorce involving spouses 50 years of age or older. When their children have reached adulthood and moved out on their own to create their own lives, many older couples realize that they have drifted apart over the years.
Maybe your spouse is preparing for retirement while you are planning to pursue a new career opportunity, or vice versa. Or maybe both of you have found different interests that you want to explore on your own. Whatever the reason might be, with an empty nest, the decision to divorce may seem like the right option.
Regardless of your age, divorce can be an exhausting and difficult time. If you are struggling to deal with the process, you may need an experienced Massachusetts divorce attorney to guide you through it. Jay Davis and his team at Davis Law Group do not take lightly the fact that you are entrusting us with critical life matters. You can always count on us to be transparent and compassionate throughout the entire divorce proceedings. Call us at 617-221-3548 or visit us online to schedule a consultation today.
Reasons for a Rise in Gray Divorces
According to a recent study, 34% of gray divorces occur among couples that have been married for 30 years or more. There are several reasons why this has become a phenomenon:
Couples Don’t Feel the Pressure to Stay Together
There was a time when there was a lot of social stigma attached to divorce — and there still is in many parts of the world. But in the US, the societal perceptions have changed substantially over the last few decades, and divorce is no longer considered a “sin” by many people.
Age is Just a Number
With numerous advances in medicine and lifestyles, seniors these days have a better shot at leading healthier and independent lives well into their 80s. It doesn’t matter if you are 60 today — if you are in relatively good health, you don’t want to feel tied down in an unhappy marriage with a few more decades still on the horizon.
Retirement Allows You to Be Bold
When you were busy working and raising a family, you probably did not have the luxury to think about enjoying the finer things in life. But now that you have retired and you have a fair amount of financial stability and security, you might be feeling ready to make bolder decisions for your own happiness. This includes getting out of a marital relationship that’s simply not fulfilling enough.
The Pandemic Drove a Wedge Between You
It’s not a secret that the global Covid-19 crisis has affected countless marriages in different ways. The social-distancing and lockdowns caused couples to spend increased amounts of time together, turning the focus on domestic arrangements. It was all good when you and your spouse had separate routines to mask your problems, but the pandemic put a stop to that.
In fact, our divorce attorneys at Davis Law Group also logged a significant increase in divorce inquiries between January and October, compared with the same period last year. Our leading attorney Jay Davis has helped families across Massachusetts move past their divorce and on to a fresh start. For a free chat with him, call 617-221-3548 or contact us online.
Things to Keep in Mind When Filing for a Divorce in Your Golden Years
If you and your spouse are in your 50s or older and considering filing for a divorce in Massachusetts, you will learn quickly that you face issues unique to your phase of life.
Keeping the House May Not Be a Great Idea
Contrary to what many couples believe, your house may not be the most important asset to retain after your divorce. This especially goes for women — if you think that seeking ownership of the family home during your divorce is a no-brainer, think again.
Instead of relying on your emotions, look at the financial side of the things when choosing assets to split. A house can cost a lot of money over the course of years, and most of these costs are impossible to know ahead of time.
Even the costs you know, such as property taxes and utility rates, are subject to change. You also need to think about the potential for capital gain taxes when you eventually sell the house. If you really want to keep the house, figure out the potential for obtaining a solo refinance or mortgage on the property as well as future expenses.
Handle Your Retirement Accounts with Care
If you and your spouse have chosen to split a retirement account, make sure you do it with a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). It is a legal document specifically created to split a pension/retirement plan by recognizing the ex-spouse’s interest in a spouse’s share of the plan. If you don’t obtain a QDRO, the IRS can levy taxes on the money taken from the account.
Keep an Eye on Your Financial Future
When you are over 50, you have fewer years to work before retirement than your younger counterparts. So be extremely careful when guarding your financial future during the divorce. This means thinking about the cost of health insurance and social security benefits. Working with a committed Massachusetts divorce attorney during the process is always recommended if you want to avoid unnecessary loss.
A Tenacious Team of Massachusetts Divorce Attorneys Committed to Your Future
No matter what you are going through, our attorneys at Davis Law Group can help you find the best path forward. Whether you are already on the path and need a guiding hand, or you are just taking the very first steps in that direction, we are here to help you navigate these tricky waters towards a happier future. You can reach out to us anytime by giving us a call at 617-221-3548, or simply fill out this free consultation form.
James H. (Jay) Davis III
Thank you for reading. Need to talk? 617-221-3548