Hartley Law Office, LLC

Hartley Law Office, LLC

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Special issues may arise in a gray divorce


The one age group in which the number of couples getting divorced has continued to increase is the group of men and women who are over 50 years old.

While generally the divorce rate has been dropping across the country, those Ohioans in the Dayton area who are willing to go through a so-called gray divorce are more plentiful. Across the country, the rate of gray divorcees has exploded from 1 out of 10 as of 1990 to 1 out of 4 within the last few years.

There are a number of reasons for this phenomenon, from changing attitudes toward marriage to greater financial independence among older women and longer life expectancies.

Whatever the reason, those who are going through divorce in their Empty Nest or Golden Years face some unique issues that younger couples may not. For one, while they will have to divide property between themselves as would any other couple, they are doing so at the end of their productive lives.

This means that the division of retirement accounts other property that can be cashed out to cover one's living expenses takes a more prominent role.

Speaking more generally, these couples are going to have to figure out how to split their overall household income so as to provide for two separate homes when neither party is likely to start earning more money in the upcoming years. This can be tricky particularly when each person also may be engaged in estate planning and planned gifting to their adult children.

Additionally, while those in a gray divorce are unlikely to have to worry about child custody and support issues, they still may have to figure out, at least informally, how to both be responsible grandparents in an age where grandparents have an increased role in the lives of their children.

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