In some ways, a gray divorce can be simple. That’s because this type of divorce refers to those who are 50 years old and older, and they often do not have children living at home any longer. Younger couples split up and spend a lot of their time determining things like child custody and child support obligations. But gray divorces do not have to do this removing some of the complexity.
That being said, gray divorce is on the rise in the United States. It is the one age group where divorce is getting more likely. Why could these cases be more complicated than if the couple was younger?
They have more assets
For one thing, couples at this stage in life may have more tangible assets and financial assets. They own family homes, businesses, vacation homes and life insurance policies. They could have multiple vehicles, art collections, valuable heirlooms or money tied up in overseas investments. When people have been married for decades, splitting up everything that they own can take quite a long time.
Additionally, these individuals are getting much closer to retirement age. They have to think about their long-term financial picture and how they’re going to retire. This may include things like using a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) to divide a pension plan or a retirement plan. These financial issues are all much more pressing at their more advanced age.
Divorce can be complicated for anyone, of course. Those involved need to be sure they know what legal steps they can take as they work to divide assets and plan for the future.