When most people think of divorce, they think of young couples who are just starting in life. However, the number of “gray divorces” between couples who have been married for a long time is rising.
If you are over 50 and are suddenly facing a divorce, you need to know what you can expect during the process.
How a judge determines the division of assets
A gray divorce, also known as a mature divorce, is a divorce involving couples over the age of 50. While the number of divorces among this age group has traditionally been relatively low, the rate of gray divorces has been rising in recent years. Several factors may contribute to this trend, including increased life expectancy, greater financial stability, and changes in social attitudes.
There are some reasons why gray divorces are often high-asset divorces. Couples married for a long time have typically accumulated more assets, including property, savings, and investments. In addition, gray divorces often involve spouses nearing retirement age and having pensions or other retirement accounts.
It’s necessary to remember that, when it comes to the division of assets in North Carolina, “equitable” and “50/50” do not mean the same thing. A judge will look at several factors, such as:
- The length of the marriage
- The age and health of the divorcing parties
- Either party expects a pension or retirement benefits that aren’t part of the marital property.
- Any direct or indirect contribution that one spouse made towards the education and career advancement of the other spouse
If you expected your golden years but instead face a gray divorce, it’s important to find someone who can help you through the legal process to protect your best interests and ensure you receive a fair settlement.