Some marriages end rather early while other marriages crumble in the long run. When a person in their 50’s, 60’s or older divorces it is referred to as a “gray divorce.” In fact, the divorce rate of those over age 50 is the highest of that amongst all age groups. You may wonder what would cause a couple that had been married for decades to call it quits, and how does a gray divorce differ from other divorces.
What are some common reasons behind a gray divorce?
While no two divorces are alike, there are some common reasons why a couple may seek a gray divorce. If they are parents, once their children are adults and living on their own, the couple may be facing the fact that they have decades ahead of them in this new stage of life and may be reevaluating their marriage in light of that change. In addition, these days many older women have jobs of their own, giving them the financial freedom to strike out on their own if their marriage is unhappy. And some couples seeking a gray divorce have been unhappy for many years or even decades before finally deciding to part ways.
How does a gray divorce differ from other divorces?
There are ways a gray divorce differs from the divorce of a younger couple. If a couple going through a divorce has children, it is likely that the children are grown adults living lives of their own. This means that issues such as child support and child custody are not relevant in a gray divorce (although a parent’s divorce can certainly impact an adult child).
In addition, while a younger couple may not have a significant amount of assets to their name, those going through a gray divorce likely own a home and other valuables, such as collections, stocks and jewelry. And, more importantly, if they worked, they likely have a significant amount of retirement assets, such as a 401(k) and IRA. This means that property division becomes a significant part of a gray divorce, especially if a couple is nearing retirement or already retired and living on a fixed income.
Learn more about gray divorce
While most married couples join together with the idea of growing old together, this is not the reality for some. More people are prioritizing their health and happiness over a marriage that is broken. Those in Ohio who are thinking about a gray divorce will want to learn more about family law and what their rights are under it.