What impact does alimony have in a gray divorce?

older couple sitting on couch facing away from each other gray divorce

In today’s society, there is less stigma surrounding divorce. This has encouraged many couples to terminate their marriages. Many people used to stay in unhappy marriages because divorce was not socially acceptable, especially in the Baby Boomer generation. However, nowadays couples are not afraid to pursue divorce. Moreover, divorces in general are extremely overwhelming and couples undergoing the divorce process are frequently faced with numerous challenges. Older couples are often faced with different challenges than younger couples. Older couples who undergo a gray divorce often underestimate the impact alimony can have on their financial security. Please continue to follow along to learn more about the struggles older couples may encounter when pursuing a gray divorce. In addition, contact an experienced Monmouth County Alimony Attorney who can help you navigate the complexities of this type of divorce. 

What is a gray divorce?

The term “gray divorce” refers to divorces involving individuals over the age of 50 who are typically members of the Baby Boomer generation. Oftentimes, those seeking gray divorces have been in long-term marriages. The term “gray divorce” was first coined because the overall divorce rate in the U.S. was decreasing, however, there was a rising rate of divorces in the older (grey-haired) demographic.

What impact does alimony have in this type of divorce?

When a couple seeks a divorce, the no-income or lower-income spouse may request that the higher-earning spouse pay them alimony (spousal support) to provide financial support to maintain the lifestyle that was established during the marriage. The court will evaluate several factors to determine whether to award this type of court-ordered payment to a spouse. However, the two primary factors they take into account are whether the higher-earning spouse can afford monthly maintenance payments and whether the lower-earning spouse needs financial support. If the court awards a spouse alimony, the higher-earning spouse will be required to pay the lower-earning spouse until they can find employment to support themselves or remarry. However, for older couples, alimony payments may be permanent. When an individual reaches a certain age, they normally retire from their job and rely on retirement benefits to live. When an older couple gets divorced and one spouse is in their 50s and does not work, it is extremely unlikely that they will be able to support themselves financially. Therefore, the court may order the higher-earning spouse to pay alimony for the rest of their lives. The court may even split the higher-earning spouse’s retirement benefits in half. In a gray divorce, alimony can significantly affect an individual’s financial security.

If you are seeking a gray divorce, it is imperative to retain the legal services of one of our determined and skilled attorneys. Our firm is committed to helping our clients protect their hard-earned assets during the divorce process.