Divorce after 50 has its own challenges

While overall divorce rates are on the decline, for those 50 and older, the rate of divorce has doubled over the past two decades. Known as "gray divorce," the phenomenon continues to affect seniors in their twilight years.

There are pitfalls that can affect this age group harder than their younger counterparts, however, and they include:

-- Not grasping the whole picture. Imagine a scenario where a woman is fed up with her husband and asks him for a divorce. He's shocked, but agrees. They get down to the nitty gritty, dividing debts and assets, and she begins to have second thoughts when she sees the ramifications a divorce will have on her financial situation. Imagine how hard it can be to go back from that point.

-- Halving financial resources can lead to reduced circumstances. In the decades north of 50, most individuals' earning power is greatly reduced. Often, many seniors are surviving on small pensions and social security. A divorce can cause a real reduction in the quality of life seniors have come to enjoy.

-- Tax issues. When your tax status changes from married to single, you may find yourself in a higher tax bracket with less income.

-- Paying for two households. Seniors will now be responsible for two rents or mortgages, two sets of utility bills and other expenditures.

-- Loss of health insurance coverage. If a spouse was covered under the other's health insurance, he or she may find it is difficult to secure comparable coverage at a low price.

This doesn't mean that the elderly must remain trapped in loveless or abusive unions, only that they must approach a senior divorce with much caution. Seeking the advice of an experienced family law attorney can be beneficial. Your attorney can present the court with a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to fairly divide retirement assets to assure that your needs will be taken care of post-divorce.

Source: nerdwallet.com, "Considering a Gray Divorce?," Arthur Comings, accessed May. 27, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Rated By Super Lawyers
  • AV Preeminent®
  • Marquis Who's Who
  • Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International
  • American Bar Association | Defending Liberty Pursuing Justice
  • G
Get Answers

Contact Us For The Answers You Need

Attorney Philip A. Greenberg represents clients in New York and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call 646-363-6807 or contact him by email. He can meet with you in his Manhattan office or in a location convenient to you.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Philip A. Greenberg, P.C., Attorneys at Law
10 Park Avenue
Suite 2A
New York, NY 10016

Phone: 646-363-6807
Fax: 212-279-0466
Map & Directions