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Important points to remember about gray divorce

While Colorado divorces are often pigeonholed as involving people who are younger and got married early before realizing that they were not a right match for one another, older people are also getting divorced with a notable frequency. The so-called "gray divorce" might sound unusual, but it is not. People who are considering their life as they reach a certain age and decide that they might want something else are prone to a gray divorce. Concerns about how family and friends will react are natural, but people have a right to their happiness. Understanding the statistics and the foundational issues for gray divorce is an important step before moving forward.

Over the last 25 years, the number of people over age 50 who divorced has multiplied by more than two. This is happening while the divorce rate for people in other age ranges has plateaued or reduced. One quarter of people who are divorcing in the U.S. are 50 and older. In 1990, that was one in 10. These gray divorces are not limited to people on a second or subsequent marriage. People who were married for more than two decades make up a large portion of the total.

Such concerns as habits going from moderately irritating to outright annoying are part of the reason so many older people are getting a divorce. Also, people who have been together for an extended period will frequently drift apart and decide that they are unhappy. They would like to enjoy their remaining years rather than remain in a failing marriage for all the wrong reasons. It is believed that the negative connotations with divorce have lowered significantly. Whereas it was once viewed poorly if people ended their marriage, that is no longer the case.

Financially, people should remember that there will likely be an award of alimony after a long-term marriage comes apart. The retirement assets are generally split in half between the partners. The family residence will either need to be sold and the proceeds split or one will need to buy out the other. When considering a divorce - gray or otherwise - it is imperative to have legal advice on how to move forward and to know how the process might play out. A law firm that helps clients in all areas of divorce should be contacted for a consultation before taking the next step.

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Mary Kay Kramer, P.C.
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