Fort Lauderdale Grey Divorce Attorneys
Comprehensive Legal Representation for Senior Clients
Florida has earned a reputation throughout the U.S. as the state where older couples go to retire and enjoy their golden years together. According to recent research, however, more and more couples are choosing to spend their retirement years apart, even after decades of marriage. In fact, the phenomenon has become so widespread that it has earned a nickname in the media: gray divorce, also known as silver divorce.
According to a survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, more than 60% of divorce attorneys say they have seen an uptick in the number of divorce cases involving spouses age 50 and older over the past five years.
Another study by Bowling Green University reinforces those findings, revealing that the divorce rate among couples over 50 more than doubled between 1990 and 2009. Two decades ago, researchers found, only one in 10 people who divorced were age 50 or older. Today, that number is closer to one in four.
Grey Divorce Trends
While gray divorce could have numerous causes, experts have put forth a number of different possible explanations for the recent increase in divorce among older couples. Some theories speculate that longer life expectancies paired with shifting societal values have fueled the trend. Others attribute the growing popularity of elder divorce to earlier changes in the way Americans view marriage.
Couples who divorce after 50 are also more likely to have been married more than once in the past, in contrast to those who remain married. Thus, as divorce and remarriage have grown more widespread in recent decades, so too has later-in-life divorce among remarried couples, who are statistically less likely to remain married.
Grey divorce involves unique challenges. While younger divorcing couples often focus heavily on child custody, visitation, and child support issues, divorce negotiations among older couples tend to center on other concerns, such as alimony, retirement accounts, and division of business assets.
If you don’t want to end up wasting time and adding additional stress to your life, then you need to consider the following common issues that arise in grey divorces:
- Financial Disputes: Couples going through gray divorces often have amassed substantial retirement funds and investments. Some seniors couples also living on fixed incomes and rely solely on Social Security or pensions, which can make supporting separate households a real challenge. As a result, some divorced seniors are forced to return to the workforce or find different sources of income to maintain a suitable lifestyle.
- Long-Term Care: Some senior couples are dealing with various illnesses and disabilities that force them to rely on each other for their everyday needs. However, after their divorce, these seniors might require a caregiver if they have no other support system. Professional long-term care like in-home health aides or residential nursing facilities are expensive, which is why divorcing seniors with serious health conditions or disabilities need to plan for this obstacle.
- Retirement: If you are receiving or plan to receive retirement benefits under your former spouse’s work history, you can maintain eligibility for these benefits after the divorce if your ex-spouse is entitled to receive Social Security benefits, you are 62 years old or older, you are unmarried, and you were married to your ex-spouse for at least ten years. Additionally, the amount you’re entitled to depending on your own work history cant exceed the amount of Social Security you’re entitled to based on your ex-spouse’s history.
If you are considering filing for divorce after 50, then you need to get in touch with our knowledgeable attorneys at Stok Kon + Braverman to discuss potential strategies for protecting your long-term financial well-being. Get in touch with our grey divorce lawyers for more information and assistance.