Since the ‘90s, divorce among people ages 50 and older has increased significantly. The divorce of older individuals has earned the name “gray divorce,” and the issues related to these divorcees differ from younger people.
Learning these issues is essential to understanding what to expect from this process.
Health and benefit considerations
If a person is older, they likely have some health concerns. Even for those who are relatively healthy, the possibility of health issues down the road is something they must consider.
For an individual who is currently using the health benefits provided by their spouse, this could pose a problem after the divorce since these benefits will likely end. This can be a huge concern for the spouse without their own health benefits, especially since securing health insurance at this point in life is more challenging.
One of the most common issues in gray divorce is related to finances. If a couple is getting close to retirement age or already retired, both may be worried about getting adequate retirement benefits.
The state of Pennsylvania uses “equitable distribution,” which means that marital assets are divided based on fairness. This doesn’t always result in a 50/50 split. This includes the couple’s retirement accounts.
Another common issue in gray divorce is spousal support. This is particularly the case if one spouse earned a lot less during the marriage or if they did not work at all. In these cases, spousal support may temporarily be given to the non-working spouse until they can get the education and experience needed to work and support themselves.
Protecting your rights in a gray divorce
If you are getting a divorce and are older, understanding the unique issues you will face is essential. You can also seek help with your divorce to ensure that your rights are protected. This is something that will be beneficial in the long run.