An increase in marriages ending after 20 to 40 years is making news headlines and being dubbed “gray divorce”.
Many psychologists are attributing divorces after long-term marriages to the kids leaving home for college or life on their own, and a spouse who has felt trapped or unhappy finally has the drive to begin a new life. The ease and perception of divorce is also far better for couples now than it was decades ago.
With collaborative divorces, mediation and experienced divorce attorneys more accessible to couples, divorce doesn’t have such a bad stigma or price tag anymore. There are many asset and financial matters that need to be addressed in divorces after a long-term marriage, so this is where a results-oriented divorce lawyer is critical and can go over every facet that must be divided.
Gray divorces usually involve lots of marital property and assets, including real estate, vacation properties, bank accounts, retirement plans, pensions, and other assets. Without legal counsel, the divorce can be a messy, financial nightmare. A huge factor is that one spouse usually has a short period of time to make up for any difference in the division of assets before retirement.
As people in California and the U.S. lead longer and more active lives, U.S. Census statistics are showing older, married couples have only a 54 percent chance of reaching a 30th wedding anniversary. Couples married before 1965 fared better, but every marriage year after that shows lesser chances of staying married. Spouses tend to have raised children and kept their finances in order, but the marital relationship took a backseat.
With gray divorce, couples are finding that they stand to be happier pursuing different goals and starting new relationships. Women are far less dependent on their spouses for income and can afford to start a new chapter on their own. “Each person has to decide whether they can deal with the flawed, not just sparkly parts of their spouse,” says Christine Carter, doctor, author of Raising Happiness and columnist at the Huffington Post. If the flaws are a deal breaker and obstacle, divorce might be the only route to resolution.
Every divorce has its unique challenges and financial considerations, so no matter the years of marriage, expert legal counsel will ensure each spouse has peace of mind for the future. In California, Orange County divorce attorney Gerald Maggio is known for helping clients go through their options, protect their interests, and seek the most favorable divorce outcome. The Maggio Law Firm combines years of legal expertise in divorce law with compassionate guidance.