There is no age limit on ending an unhappy marriage. However, there are some unique challenges that Alabama couples over the age of 50 are more likely to encounter during a gray divorce. For example, with less time left to repair finances before retirement, some might be concerned about how to divide retirement assets without incurring unnecessary taxes or penalties.
An increase in gray divorce
In the past, getting divorced during midlife or later was not all that common. Indeed, the term to describe divorce after 50 — gray divorce — did not even become common until 2004. While the overall divorce rate has been on the decline for some time, between 1990 and 2015 it actually doubled for couples over the age of 50. Divorce rates tripled during that same period for those aged 65 or older. Some of the contributing factors to an increase in gray divorce include:
- Decreased stigma around divorce
- People tend to live longer
- An increase in financial independence
Most couples spend the majority of their working years saving for retirement. Dividing these savings during divorce is an essential but tricky task. One of the best approaches is to utilize a qualified domestic relations order. With a QDRO, couples can more easily divide retirement accounts — often by rolling funds directly into another account — without the worry of paying taxes.
Most gray divorces do not involve custody issues, but that does not mean these couples are not still concerned for their children. Unfortunately, it is not all that uncommon for adult children to get dragged into the middle of issues, which still irreparably damage important relationships. To avoid these types of missteps, some people in Alabama prefer to speak with an attorney who is familiar with the challenges of a gray divorce.