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Gray Divorce in Virginia

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While more people under the age of 24 tend to get divorced, there has been an increase in the number of seniors deciding to end long marriages. Since 1990, the divorce rate for Americans over 50 has doubled, and that number has gotten larger for those over 65. Because of this trend, attorneys all over the United States have been representing more seniors in negotiations and divorce proceedings.

Trust the team at Malinowski Hubbard, PLLC with your Fairfax divorce case. Call us at (703) 935-4222 today!

What Makes Senior Divorce Different?

As you can imagine, the longer a marriage lasts, the more entangled two lives become, which is why it's important to enlist the counsel of a skilled Fairfax divorce lawyer. It can be difficult to remember who brought certain assets into the marriage, which can make property division harder to accomplish. Assets will also include retirement funds, which both spouses probably intended to use throughout their remaining years.

While every divorce will follow the same basic laws and regulations, many factors in a gray divorce can require additional attention. Older couples have simply had more time than younger couples to build financial assets and create shared memories. Additionally, younger couples may only be halfway through their careers with more time to restructure their plans for retirement.

Issues requiring special consideration in a gray divorce include:

  1. Asset distribution: The financial situation of older couples is often far more complex than that of younger spouses. Financial assets which have been built over decades, such as investment properties and retirement accounts, may be central points of contention. Virginia allows for the “equitable” distribution of property, meaning that all marital property is divided fairly, not necessarily equally. As the value of assets such as the family home can be difficult to quantify, it is best to begin planning early.
  2. Retirement planning: The dissolution of marriage can be financially stressful which can be of special concern in gray divorces. The budget for retirement that had once existed may no longer support a person’s desired lifestyle. It is important to restructure financial plans to match the post-divorce budget. For many gray divorcees, their hardest working years are in their rear view mirror. Individuals must consider if they want to continue to compete in the workforce in order to rebuild their financial nest.
  3. Spousal support: In marriages where at least one spouse works, spousal support can play a large role in divorce proceedings. In fact, in a study conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, alimony was among the top areas of dispute in gray divorces. When divorcing spouses suddenly find themselves in need of financial support, alimony can make up the bulk of their income. Spousal support is almost always considered by the court for longer marriages.
  4. Older children: Divorce at any age can be emotionally devastating for all members of a family, including adult-age children. It is important not to overlook the needs of older children and how a divorce may affect them. This is especially true when divorcing spouses and their children have shared financial interests. Factors such as inheritance and monetary support may require consideration during a divorce.

Alimony vs. Retirement Assets

While younger couples are less likely to receive alimony, as both are more likely to be working, gray divorcing spouses are probably retired (or close to retiring). If one partner is more likely to be unemployed because of the scarcity of jobs for seniors, he or she might receive spousal upkeep.

Some people prefer to get more out of the shared retirement accounts than alimony or their home. An agreement may involve a quick lump sum they can then decide how to invest for their future later. Choosing one or the other depends on how the divorce negotiations go. However, there are many considerations to make before deciding on how to split your property. For example, people might not know they may be taxed on any assets they acquire through the divorce.

Choose Our Skilled Divorce Lawyers in Fairfax, VA

The best way to negotiate the financial maze of gray divorce is by contacting an experienced Fairfax divorce attorney. Our firm is dedicated to representing people throughout Northern Virginia with tenacious courtroom skills and excellent communication. Our attorneys are highly rated, and we are confident we can provide legal assistance that will help you cope with your divorce.

Contact us at (703) 935-4222 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation. We look forward to working with you.

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Why Malinowski Hubbard?

Malinowski Hubbard is committed to providing:
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  • Tenacious Courtroom
    Advocacy

  • Effective Solutions Tailored to Each Client

  • Honest Advice, Accessible Communication