Finances come to the forefront with increase in gray divorce

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2023 | Family Law |

Divorce is difficult at any age and income status, but for older people in Virginia who have worked their whole lives to achieve a certain level of wealth, there are specific concerns that must be addressed. This has become more worrisome with the statistical increase in so-called “gray” divorce.

Issues that are a focal point in today’s economy are property division – specifically digital assets – and spousal support. Given the challenges people might face in their golden years amid a divorce, it is imperative to be fully prepared.

Gray divorce is a growing trend

Researchers at AARP assessed the number of people 50 and older who are getting divorced. It found that nearly two in three of these gray divorces are initiated by women. They are doing this despite the financial ramifications they might face since many women in that age range either earned less or were stay at home spouses.

Wealth advisers from various entities have noted the change. Many women were found to have valued happiness over the perceived financial security that likely accompanied remaining married. Increasingly, women have the education and skills to maintain the quality of life they enjoyed while married. Still, that is not always the case.

A study by Bowling Green State University states that women who are involved in a gray divorce see their standard of living lower by nearly half. Men experience a lower standard of living at around 21%. More than one-quarter of women find they are living below the poverty line. The same is true for 14% of men.

Even couples who on the surface appear to have amassed substantial assets are not immune to these concerns. For example, it can be difficult to untangle various properties that both contributed to acquiring. There could be hidden assets. This makes property division and understanding how it works even more vital.

Spousal support is meant to account for the supported party to maintain their lifestyle. For older people this is crucial because of the problems they might experience in finding suitable work due to a lack of training, education or experience.

A high-asset gray divorce can be complex

Divorce is undoubtedly emotional, but people who are older and thought they were financially secure need to consider the future in a businesslike way. A high-asset divorce has many obstacles to reaching what is deemed a fair outcome. People in this situation need to be fully aware of what they will be confronted with as the case proceeds.