How is a Gray Divorce Different from a Standard Divorce?

mature couple fighting

There are many reasons why a couple may want a divorce later on in life. For one, they may feel that they have grown apart after years of marriage. Or, they may feel that there is no longer a stigma surrounding divorce. But regardless of the reasoning, it is quite different than that of a standard divorce. Continue reading to learn how a gray divorce is different from a standard divorce and how an experienced York County, PA divorce attorney at Ilkhanoff & Silverstein can be of any assistance necessary.

What is a gray divorce?

Typically, gray divorce is the dissolution of a marriage between spouses who are over the age of 50. This term has become relevant because, while the standard divorce rate is going down, the divorce rate for the “gray-haired” demographic is going up. More specifically, couples who are over the age of 50 make up approximately 25 percent of all divorces in the United States. And, couples who are over the age of 65 make up approximately 10 percent of all divorces in the U.S.

What is the difference between a gray divorce and a standard divorce?

Couples who are undergoing a gray divorce as opposed to couples who are undergoing a standard divorce will have different experiences because they will prioritize different divorce-related terms. For example, gray divorce is unique because it mainly concerns the couple being retired or near retirement (i.e., spousal support terms) and having complex marital assets that have been collected throughout the long-term marriage (i.e., property division terms).  As for a standard divorce, the main concerns may be child support and child custody terms.

Importantly, a gray divorce may cause great damage to a couple’s retirement plan. This is because spousal support payments may be required even after the drop in income that comes with retirement. This is especially the case if one spouse has not been working, as it is unlikely that they will ever become financially independent at this stage in their life. To add to this, a spouse’s life insurance with death benefits may be included in their spousal support order.

With property division, there are many marital assets to account for. Notably, this division will go far beyond the couple’s personal property. Rather, it will take into account the couple’s retirement benefits, savings, salaries, social security, 401K, pensions, life insurance, etc.

We understand just how daunting it may be to end your long-term marriage at this stage in your life. But rest assured, a skilled York County, PA divorce attorney is ready and willing to come to your aid. We will do everything in our power to make sure that the retirement plan, that you worked so hard to earn, does not get hurt in your divorce. When you can, give our firm a call.

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