As divorce attorneys know, divorce is something that happens between people of all ages, including those in their senior years. As a matter of fact, the number of 'gray divorces' that occur between couples over 50 years of age has nearly doubled in the last two decades. Although divorce between senior couples is just like any other divorce, according to experienced divorce lawyers, these divorces do bring certain challenges. To ensure that each spouse leaves the marriage with the assets to which they are entitled, divorcing senior spouses should seek a lawyer experienced with these type of divorces.
Senior Divorce and Retirement Benefits
One of the biggest points of contention with a gray divorce is retirement benefits. Many couples in this type of situation have been married for many years and planned accordingly, based on one or both spouse’s retirement funds or pensions. Experienced divorce lawyers believe that many people do not realize that they are entitled to a share of their spouse's retirement funds, which often applies to social security benefits in many instances. Retirement benefits are an especially important topic when couples are married longer, one spouse has been supported by the other, and any time there are concerns about spousal support and whether the spouse in need of support will have adequate funds to live.
Dividing Long-Term Marital Assets
Marital assets are divided in any divorce; after a long marriage, these assets can be considerable. Divorce attorneys report that division of marital assets in a gray divorce can mean selling a home that has been in the family for many years or dividing some rather large investments. Each spouse is still entitled to their individual share, especially in a long-term marriage. Since the division of marital assets can be a touchy subject in senior divorce, it is important to work with an experienced and qualified lawyer who understands the difficulty involved and can properly advise on fair disbursement of marital assets.
Emotional Toll of Senior Divorce
Divorce is emotional, especially so when divorce occurs later in life after a long relationship. It is very easy for spouses to feel hurt or angry when, after many years of marriage, their relationship ends in divorce. Adult children can be an emotional part of a gray divorce and be shocked or angry that their parents are divorcing after so many years together.
Sometimes when seniors are helping or supporting adult children for any number of reasons, a concern about finances and how the divorce will change the lives of other people can add to the stress and emotional toll of divorce. The loss of assets that were accumulated over many years can add to this grief, making divorce for older couples extremely stressful. Dealing with senior divorce requires that both spouses remain as cordial and neutral as possible, both for themselves and everyone else involved.
A divorce between senior spouses may seem easier than divorce between younger couples with young children involved. Yet most gray divorces are equally or more challenging for those involved. When older couples determine that divorce is their best option, it is essential to hire divorce lawyers who deal with senior divorce and can explain and advise on all important issues, including the division of marital assets and entitlement to retirement funds. To learn more about senior divorce and how to best deal with its many complexities, contact experienced divorce attorneys right away!
Garza & Elizondo, LLP
680 East St. Charles St, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520
1393 East Alton Gloor Blvd, Suite 12
Brownsville TX 78526