Monday, October 7, 2013

Gray Divorce — The Unique Needs of Couples Divorcing Over 50

A study from the Center for Family and Demographic Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio concluded that divorce among couples over 50 has doubled since 1980. This growing trend — also referred to as gray divorce — reflects the demographics of an aging baby boomer generation. The study also showed that older couples with previous marriages are two and a half times more likely to get divorced than younger couples in their first marriage.

The Gray Divorce study further found an inverse relationship between the length of a marriage and the likelihood it will end in divorce. The baby boomer generation was the first population to divorce in large numbers and is now the first to remarry and re-divorce in midlife. Study analysts attribute this trend to the introduction of no-fault divorce, the ability of more women to achieve financial independence and the increase in life expectancy. It appears that many older adults who can make it on their own are less willing to live out their lives in unhappy marriages.

This large segment of the U.S. population has unique legal needs including:

Extended child support

As the children of baby boomers enter their college and university years, ex-spouses may require guidelines for sharing the burden of tuitions and providing for the material needs of children over 18 who are not yet independent.

Estate planning

Older adults must address the division of retirement benefits and pension plans and the possible necessity of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). Divorcing couples might need to revise wills and trusts, designate new executors and beneficiaries, and reassign healthcare proxies.

Health insurance

As older couples divorce, special concern must be given to the provision of health insurance and the continuation of healthcare benefits for each partner. Failing health in the newly single and nearly retired population increases stress on family and government resources.

If you are over 50 and are considering divorce, you are one of the 600,000 Americans who will do so this year. Speak to a divorce attorney who knows how to meet the unique needs of an aging population. Call the Oradell, New Jersey office of Murano & Roth, LLC at 201.265.3400 or contact us online.

This blog posting and the information on our website is for general information purposes only. Nothing within it, within any responses, comments, emails, answers, blogs or attachments, should be considered legal advice. Our website and our blogs, including this blog, does not form any attorney client relationship, and this office does not represent you in any way. Keep in mind that since only very general information is provided on our website and within our blogs, you cannot rely upon any of the information as legal advice, as it might not apply to, or be accurate relative to your specific situation and facts.

By Jason D. Roth

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