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Long-term marriages present unique challenges in divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Divorce

Silver divorce, also known as gray divorce, is a divorce that occurs with couples who have been married for 20 or more years. There are various reasons for splitting up after so many years  including extended life expectancy, financial independence of women, “empty nest” syndrome, health issues, retirement boredom, overspending, and even post-covid anxiety. Though the divorce rates have stayed relatively stable for other age groups, silver divorce has doubled recently.

As a result, silver divorce presents unique challenges due to the life stage, emotional complexities, and financial considerations. Here are some common hurdles faced by couples going through a silver divorce:

  1. Financial Complexity:
    • Retirement Assets: Dividing retirement accounts, pensions, and Social Security benefits can be intricate. Decisions made during this time significantly impact financial stability in retirement.
    • Healthcare Costs: As older adults, health insurance becomes crucial. Navigating health coverage post-divorce can be challenging.
    • Property Division: Splitting real estate, investments, and other assets requires careful evaluation.
  2. Emotional Impact:
    • Long-Term Relationship: Couples who have been together for decades face emotional upheaval. The loss of companionship, shared memories, and future plans can be distressing.
    • Impact on Adult Children: Silver divorce affects not only the couple but also their grown children. Balancing their emotions and needs adds complexity.
  3. Health Concerns:
    • Stress and Health: Divorce can exacerbate health issues. Managing stress and emotional well-being becomes critical.
    • Loneliness: Adjusting to life alone after years of companionship can lead to feelings of isolation.
  4. Legal Considerations:
    • Complex Laws: Understanding divorce laws specific to older adults is essential. Legal nuances related to alimony, property division, and estate planning require expert guidance.
    • Estate Planning Changes: Updating wills, trusts, and beneficiary designations becomes necessary.
  5. Social and Community Impact:
    • Social Networks: Divorce can strain social circles. Friends may feel torn between supporting both spouses.
    • Community Perception: Older adults may face judgment or stigma related to divorce.
  6. Financial Independence:
    • Reentering the Workforce: Some individuals may need to find employment after years of being out of the job market.
    • Budgeting and Lifestyle Adjustments: Adjusting to a single-income lifestyle requires financial planning.
  7. Legal Representation:
    • Navigating Legal Proceedings: Hiring a divorce lawyer is crucial. Legal expertise ensures fair asset division, spousal support, and child custody arrangements.

Remember that each silver divorce is unique, and seeking professional advice is essential. A compassionate lawyer can guide you through the process, addressing both legal and emotional aspects.

Call Sralla Family Law PLLC for more information about “silver” divorces at (210) 212-5656 or go to