What is a Gray Divorce?

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A gray divorce occurs when two people over the age of 50 get a divorce. These types of divorces can be difficult to manage as much of your financial and personal information has become intertwined. The Newport Divorce Attorneys are here to help you navigate and understand the many aspects of a gray divorce.

What is a Gray Divorce?

Gray divorce refers to people who get divorced over the age of 50. Many gray divorces occur with couples who have been together for an extended period of time, which can make a divorce more challenging.

According to a study completed in 2010, gray divorces have increased to 20%. This means that “roughly 1 in 4 divorces in 2010 occurred to persons aged 50 and older.” This increase is baffling to many people, but there are many reasons why this may occur. This includes new social norms, empty nesters, and retirement.

Reasons for Increase of Gray Divorces

If many of the divorces in 2010 were from people over the age of 50, this means that they had to have been born in 1960 or earlier. This means that the majority of divorces are occurring in the baby boomer generation. If this is still their first marriage, this means they got married during a time where social norms are quite different than they are today. Divorce is no longer surrounded with as much stigma as it used to be. Getting a divorce isn’t viewed as a failure, and there are more opportunities for women to be able to make their own income and not rely on a spouse.

Similarly, another reason why many people get divorced when they are older is that their children are no longer living with them. While children are still in the home, many parents push off getting divorced so that they can provide their children with a stable home environment. However, once the children leave the home and are no longer around, this can emphasize past problems and push divorce to the front of people’s minds.

Finally, there is retirement as a reason for the increase in divorce. If one or both of the people are retired, this gives them a lot of time to spend with one another and a lot of free time. This can lead to animosity and the realization that you are no longer compatible.

Special Considerations During a Gray Divorce

Gray divorces come with their own set of troubles and considerations. While you may no longer have children in the home, there are other aspects of your lifestyle that need to be untangled and split. This includes

  • Spousal Support
  • Social Security Benefits
  • Retirement Benefits
  • Personal Property and Real Estate

In many cases, people going through a gray divorce have been together for many years. If a couple has been together for at least 10 years, their spouse is likely entitled to spousal support. The amount and length of the support are determined through a series of factors and are ultimately up to the judge’s discretion.

In addition to spousal support, your ex-spouse may be entitled to social security benefits as well. There are a variety of factors that are considered such as how long you were married if either of you has remarried, and how old each person is.

Not only can your ex-spouse receive social security benefits, but they may also receive some of your retirement benefits as well. This can include splitting the amount of money you have collectively saved for retirement. Finally, your personal property and real estate must be split as well.

Gray Divorce in California

A gray divorce is complicated in any state where it occurs, but it is even more involved in California. California is a no-fault divorce state and a community property state. A no-fault divorce state means that even if one spouse is responsible for the divorce, the assets are still split equally—including your retirement savings. Similarly, because California is a community property state, all property that you and your spouse acquired while married is technically considered both of yours. Even if one of the spouses is not listed on the title, both are entitled to 50% of it. This means that all of your property, no matter who bought it, is split equally. It is for these reasons, and the reasons above, that a mediated divorce is the best option for people going through a gray divorce.

Gray Divorce Lawyer in California

The attorneys at Newport Divorce Attorney at Law, have helped countless couples navigate their gray divorce. We know how emotionally charged these divorces can be and how much there is on the line. We are here to fight for you and get you what you deserve. Contact our office (949) 752-2727 or visit our website to schedule a free consultation.

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