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Divorcing Later in Life

Iwanyshyn & Associates March 28, 2022

Senior Couple Arguing at HomeDivorcing later in life can be both emotionally and financially taxing for everyone involved, including the divorcing spouses and their adult or underage children. In some cases, a late-life divorce comes out of the blue. In others, however, the end of the marriage is predictable due to years of mounting tensions between the spouses.

If you are considering filing for divorce later in life, reach out to a knowledgeable attorney to help you make the necessary considerations based on the unique circumstances of your divorce case.

At Iwanyshyn & Associates, we understand that getting a divorce later in life can be overwhelming and frightening. That is why our divorce attorneys in Allison Park are committed to providing effective legal counsel to clients throughout divorce proceedings. We offer each client the personalized attention and respect they deserve. We’re proud to represent individuals contemplating divorce or going through a divorce in Allison Park, Cranberry, Pittsburgh, Gibsonia, Wexford, and the rest of Pennsylvania.

Why Do People Divorce Later in Life?

Statistically speaking, almost half of all marriages in Pennsylvania end in divorce. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, there were nearly 28,900 divorces and annulments and almost 59,000 marriages in 2020 alone. Late-in-life divorces—or ‘gray divorces’—in which people seek a divorce after decades of marriage, have been more common in Pennsylvania and across the nation in recent years. Some of the most common reasons people divorce after the age of 50 include but are not limited to:

  1. Empty nest. A healthy marriage requires spouses to pay attention to each other’s desires and needs. When spouses have children, they may focus more on their children than their spouse. For some people, children are their only purpose in life, so when children grow into adults and leave the parents’ home, the married couple may experience what is known as an empty-nest syndrome and no longer have a reason to stay together.

  2. Unresolved disputes or marital issues. Many married couples have disputes or marital issues that may eventually cause the marriage to fall apart. As years go by, it becomes more challenging to resolve those disputes, which is why many people get a divorce later in life.

  3. Lack of affection or communication. Married spouses may simply grow apart as they get older, especially if there is a lack of affection and communication between them.

  4. Retirement. When older people retire, the things they pursue in life after retirement may change from one individual to another. One spouse may want to travel and live their life to the fullest, while the other spouse may want to focus on their family and spend the majority of time at home.

  5. Life-changing events. Older couples are more likely to seek a divorce when they go through life-changing events, such as the death of a family member or a terminal illness.

Regardless of why you want to divorce later in life, there are many things to consider when seeking a gray divorce after years or decades of marriage.

Things to Consider When Seeking a Gray Divorce

When getting through a divorce later in life, you may encounter a number of challenges. Things to consider when seeking a gray divorce might include:

  • Division of assets and debt. Married couples can accumulate a significant amount of real and personal property throughout the years or decades of marriage. Many couples also amass debt, and some have family-owned businesses.

  • Retirement savings. As married couples save for retirement before and during the marriage, complications may arise when trying to divide retirement savings, including IRA accounts, 401(k)s, and pensions.

  • Social security benefits. Sometimes, a spouse may be entitled to a portion of their spouse’s social security benefits when getting a divorce.

  • Spousal support. Depending on the length of the marriage and other factors, one spouse may be eligible for spousal support after a long-term marriage.

Navigating a late-in-life divorce can be complicated, especially when you do not know what challenges you may encounter throughout the process. Having an experienced attorney on your side can help you through this difficult time.

How Iwanyshyn & Associates Can Help

Divorce is not uncommon, whether you are a young or older individual. However, divorcing later in life involves special issues that must be addressed. Our skilled attorneys at Iwanyshyn & Associates can help you address those concerns and ensure that you know how to proceed in your divorce. Call our divorce attorneys in Allison Park, Pennsylvania, to guide you through your divorce.