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Divorcing Later in Life

Rundberg Law, LLC Jan. 25, 2022

torn piece of paper with divorce text and paper couple figuresMarried individuals can grow apart over the years of marriage. People who have been married for three, four, or five decades or longer are not immune to divorce. Divorcing later in life – also known as a gray divorce – has become more common in recent years.

However, seeking a divorce after a long-term marriage can be complicated and stressful. That is why you must seek legal counsel to understand the process and help you protect the assets you have accumulated.

As an experienced family law attorney in Overland Park, Kansas, I have assisted numerous clients with handling divorce after decades of marriage. At Rundberg Law, LLC, I understand that getting a divorce is stressful regardless of your age. I also handle divorces throughout Johnson County, Kansas.

Common Reasons People
Divorce Later in Life

There are many reasons people file for divorce after decades of marriage. Some of the most common reasons people choose to end marriage later in life include:

  1. Growing apart. Any married couple can grow apart after long years of marriage. You may no longer have romantic feelings for your spouse, which may cause your marriage to fall apart.

  2. Children grow up. Many married couples stay together for the sake of children even when unhappy. For this reason, older couples are more likely to call it quits after the last child reaches the age of majority and leaves the nest.

  3. Retirement. Some older individuals have the urge to change life drastically after retirement, following decades of hard work. With so much time available, retired individuals want to live life to the fullest, in which marriage may prevent that.

  4. Illness. As people grow older, the odds of developing medical conditions or age-related illnesses, especially if an individual does not take proper care of the body, are higher.

  5. Spending habits. After decades of living together, couples may notice that spending habits change. When a married individual is fed up with the spouse’s excessive spending, the fed-up individual is more likely to seek a divorce.

  6. Different lifestyles. Differences in lifestyle choices may also become a reason for a gray divorce. If one spouse wants to stay home all the time, while the other spouse wants to explore the world or go out more frequently, disputes may arise and the marriage may fall apart after a while.

Things to Consider When
Divorcing Later in Life

Divorcing later in life is not as straightforward as it might seem. Older couples need more things to consider when filing for divorce. Some of the things that may be worth considering when pursuing a gray divorce include:

  • Division of assets. When individuals have been married for decades, the couple might have accumulated significant marital assets. The division of assets may get complicated if the spouses do not know what separate property the spouse possesses and what property is subject to division.

  • Maintenance/Alimony. When getting a divorce later in life, determining maintenance may become more complicated. In fact, older individuals may not be able to afford to support a spouse after the end of a long-term marriage, especially if retired.

  • Retirement. Often, retirement assets are split evenly between the spouses. However, there may be exceptions under certain circumstances. You must discuss your case with an attorney to determine how your retirement assets will be split in your gray divorce.

  • Life insurance. Determining who should receive life insurance after a long-term marriage ends is not always easy. There are many factors that affect the distribution of life insurance benefits. These factors include the length of the marriage, state law, and many others.

  • Social security. When getting a divorce, individuals may be eligible for Social Security benefits if a marriage meets certain requirements established by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Call Rundberg Law, LLC for Help

Divorcing later in life can be difficult. Whether young or old, divorce is always an emotionally taxing experience. A gray divorce involves many legal complications, which is why you must speak with a divorce attorney. At Rundberg Law, LLC, I assist clients with the divorce process in Overland Park, Kansas. If you are considering a divorce later in life, let’s discuss your case today to determine what you need to expect during the process.