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 gray divorce case
Contact us 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
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
Issues requiring special consideration in a gray divorce include:
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.
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.
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.
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
The best way to negotiate the financial maze of gray divorce is by contacting
an experienced 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 by filling out our online form to schedule a consultation. We look forward
to working with you.