“Gray Divorce” on the rise

Even the most cynical political pundits were stunned when former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, announced in 2010 they were separating after 40 years of marriage.

The Gores’ love story was nearly as well-known as their political efforts. At the 2000 Democratic National Convention, the couple’s passionate on-state kiss further proved that they were crazy about each other. We expected to watch the Gores settle into their twilight years holding hands and playing with their grandchildren, a celebrity and political power couple who had defied the odds because they truly loved each other. But their love story had come to an end.

Overall divorce rates in the U.S. have declined, but the number of couples age of 50 and older who are splitting up has more than doubled since 1990, according to the Los Angeles Times. The divorce rate among older Americans was less than three percent. Now one in four divorces happen to men and women over 50, the newspaper reported.

The trend, coined “gray divorce” is a real thing. The Times story cites a handful of reasons: life expectancy has increased, and many of those years are healthy. That means while we see more cute elderly couples celebrating 50-plus years of marriage, we also are witnessing the demise of longtime partnerships more often than we had in the past.

Those older couples at restaurants who constantly bicker back and forth —or don’t speak to each other at all — are realizing that they don’t have to be stuck in a loveless marriage forever. People no longer are willing to let death part them if the marriage is unhappy and children have left the nest. They want to get out in time for another chance at love and joy.

While divorce can mark a fresh start for older people, there are potential legal hassles to navigate that some younger couples might not have to deal with. Alimony is often granted for life after a lengthy marriage ends, according to Forbes. Retirement money is usually split evenly, whether it’s a fault or no-fault divorce. A couple’s home is an asset that must be valued and divided.

The experienced family law attorneys at the DiPietro Family Law Group have decades of experience handling all types of family law matters and are here to help you.

Contact one of the DiPietro family law attorneys today to schedule a consultation with a caring professional at (703) 370 – 5555, or visit us online.

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