Silver Divorce is On the Rise

A later life Divorce,  “Silver Divorce” as it’s often called in the media, is on the rise in America. We’ve all heard about Tipper and Al Gore, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins; and Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones.

Clients seeking divorces after a long marriage face different issues and emotions than their younger counterparts. Often these divorcing spouses have adult children or college age children eliminating the need to devote resources to parenting plans.  A long marriage has often taken on a life of its own, and even though the marriage may have in reality been dead for years, the parties still feel the bittersweet pain at the final recognition of its demise. Long-married individuals typically experience a deep sense of remorse for not ending the marriage sooner. They grieve, in a very unique way, the loss of years and possibilities they feel have passed them by.

Fortunately, silver divorcees are far less likely to engage in hotly contested litigation, throwing out daggers and making recriminations. These divorces are often a little bit ceremonial in that there can be more about sadness than anger as the process evolves. But after the divorce is complete, silver divorcees often feel a sense of exhilaration about what’s next.

Interestingly, “silver” divorcing men these days often have financial freedoms over their lives in a way that earlier generations did not. So, leaving is often less financially threatening for them, especially if they have had successful careers, and have their own retirement accounts and Social Security. Regardless of the reason for the divorce, someone in this position is well advised to consider their next steps very carefully. Silver divorces require a divorce attorney who has a firm grasp of later-years financial strategy and a willingness to help the client find his way into a sound financial future.

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