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Gray Divorce: What Should Older Adults Know Before Getting Divorced?

A gray-haired man and a blonde woman sitting next to each other.

Divorce is a possibility at any point in a marriage. Spouses have gotten divorced after being married a couple of months, weeks, or even days. People also get divorced after decades of marriage. When a couple has been together that long, their divorce is usually extremely complicated. Divorces like that are known as gray divorces because they generally involve older adults.

Top Four Things Older Adults Should Know Before Getting Divorced

Ending a marriage that may have lasted decades is no easy task. There are several issues that must be worked out before a gray divorce can be finalized. The following are four of the many complex matters that older adults should know before beginning the divorce process:

  1. Property Division – Years of marriage often results in a massive collection of marital property. Dividing this property can be overwhelming. If a couple has already retired, it can actually make the property division process easier because a large portion of their assets may have been consolidated. If this isn’t the case, it may be a good idea for the couple to consolidate their assets before the division of property process begins. In many cases, this allows for a more even split, which may be the best and fairest option for both spouses.
  2. Estate Planning – Documents, like wills and trusts, may need to be updated with new beneficiaries, which is an issue that younger couples seeking a divorce are less likely to encounter.
  3. Social Security – The laws regarding Social Security as it pertains to marriage and divorce are extremely complicated. For instance, it is possible for a person to collect Social Security courtesy of their former spouse. Make sure you know these laws before you begin the divorce process. Just as importantly, make sure your attorney knows these laws prior to hiring them to represent you.
  4. Power of Attorney – Older spouses are often each other’s power of attorney and health care power of attorney. Like the beneficiaries for their wills and trusts, older adults seeking divorce must often name a new power of attorney and health care power of attorney. Generally, an adult child, sibling, or close friend is named to replace a soon-to-be former spouse as a person’s power of attorney and health care power of attorney.

Need Help with a Gray Divorce? Contact Our Experienced Divorce Lawyers Today

Some marriages age like fine wine, but just as often marriages crumble as time goes by. As you get older, it can be tempting to stay in a marriage that isn’t working because the prospect of change like that when you’re older can be terrifying. However, no one should stay in a bad marriage just because of their age.

At Rech Law, P.C., we understand the complications that come with gray divorce. Since 2010, our firm has battled on behalf of clients as they take on issues involving divorce, property division, alimony, and more. During that time, our experienced divorce attorneys have successfully guided older adults through the divorce process and set them up to enjoy the brighter future that’s waiting for them. Let us do the same for you.

To learn more about Rech Law, P.C., read our clients’ testimonials, and whenever you’re ready, our experienced divorce attorneys in Charlotte are here to discuss your situation and options with you.

To set up a confidential consultation with our legal team, give us a call at (704) 659-0007 or contact us online today.

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