Things To Know About Divorcing In Your Senior Years

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsIn recent years, the rate of divorces of people aged above 50 has doubled. Because of the age of people involved in a divorce, the separation is called ‘gray divorce’. Senior people heading for a divorce no longer raise eyebrows.

Family law experts provide some valuable information about late life or gray divorces. These are mentioned below.


Alimony or spousal support is always guaranteed when a long term marriage breaks up. Unlike younger divorcing couples, the lower earning spouse in a gray divorce will generally be awarded alimony for life. Younger people get only temporary alimony. The lower earning spouse receives financial support only for some time in the case of the younger divorcees.

Retirement earnings 

Retirement money is going to get divided between the two separating spouses. No matter what the type of divorce is (legal separation, uncontested, no fault, contested), the retirement assets and funds will be divided evenly.

Some spouses may get offered more than their share of the pension from their separating spouse. In such an instance the question of paying alimony disappears. But accepting more pension and no alimony is not a good idea in some instances. Retirement earnings from your spouse can potentially become a taxable income.

Child custody, support and visitation 

In a gray divorce, the children are, in most cases, mature adults. As a result, child custody, child support and visitation rights do not need to be considered. But the divorced parents may continue providing financial support to their adult children. Although the financial support is not a part of the divorce agreement.

Division of property 

Women generally do not want to give up their marital home. But it is advisable that they do so because financially it makes more sense that way. If you keep the house, your husband will get something that will allow him to pay you less alimony or a smaller share of the pension. Either way you will be at a loss. Keeping a house will mean paying property taxes, maintenance expenditures and other costs that will eat into your financial resources.

Prenuptial agreement 

Family law experts believe that it is best to sign a prenuptial agreement. Without one, a gray divorce can cause the depletion of all your retirement savings.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation