Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) August 30, 2017 – The number of “gray divorces,” or divorces among couples age 50 or older, has seen a dramatic rise in recent years. Among members of the baby boomer generation, divorce has doubled since the 1990s. Some attorneys believe that the reasons for such divorces could be very much like those for which people divorce sooner in life:
* Lack of shared interests
* Loss of a profound or meaningful connection
* A feeling of drifting apart
Vienna, Virginia family law attorney Lisa McDevitt says, “When handling gray divorces, it is important to advise clients as to the most favorable options for their financial future. Older clients obtaining a divorce may be subject to manipulation by their adult children who may try to take advantage of the termination of the marriage, such as through a change in a will or trust.”
Some spouses are starting to realize that they wish to pursue their own interests, and are electing to be single for that reason. Similar to the emotional elements, the legal implications of gray divorce can be unlike those that younger couples may find when handling divorce. The most important of these are financial issues, which can cause difficulties for couples, who are at or approaching retirement.
When spouses elect to divorce in their 30s or 40s, they have enough time to recoup their losses. This is because couples in this age group have many years in which to continue working. And if one spouse did not have a profession, a divorce in their 30s or 40s allows that spouse sufficient time to establish a career so they can live independently.
However, when people divorce in their 50s or later, their careers may either be on the verge of ending, or are finished, and they are frequently living on fixed incomes. Prior to the decision to divorce, the expectation is that any retirement benefits would be shared between the couple. The difficulty lies in deciding how each spouse will be compelled to modify their finances and lifestyle in order to resume living on an income that is less than what they thought it would be.
Lisa Lane McDevitt
2155 Bonaventure Drive
Vienna, VA 22181