As many Texas residents know, “gray divorce” is the name given to the phenomenon of getting divorced after the age of 50. While long-standing marriages once were thought to be immune from the perils of divorce, the last two decades have witnessed an increase in the number of senior divorces. People over the age of 50 are now increasingly choosing to separate from their spouses, which was unheard of even twenty years ago. Senior divorces may also be a financial blow for many.
Property division for long-standing marriages can often become complicated. Proving what was acquired by either spouse prior to their marriage can be difficult. In most cases, a family court judge will be likely to equitably distribute the joint marital assets between the spouses.
In many senior marriages, one of the spouses may be the sole earning member of the family, while the other sacrificed her career in order to maintain the family home. In these cases, a substantial amount of spousal support or alimony may also be ordered. In cases where one of the spouses has been retired for some time, the retirement account may also be considered joint marital property and divided during the impending divorce and separation.
The one problem that usually does not arise in a gray divorce is the legal hassle surrounding child custody, as well as visitation rights, since the children involved in a gray divorce have usually attained the age of majority. In certain cases, however, the children can suffer from disabilities, in which case child custody also can become a factor in the divorce settlement.
Source: U.S. News & World Report, “7 things to know about divorcing during your senior years,” Maryalene LaPonsie, April 24, 2015