Westside Family Law

A full-service family law firm serving West Vancouver and the surrounding areas


Family law as it relates to grey divorce

While divorce is hardly unique to one particular age demographic, a surprising trend in the last decades has made its way to the headlines: the so-called "grey divorce" in which couples over the age of 50 choose to end their marriages. Family law experts point to many reasons why British Columbia residents approaching retirement age may consider divorce as an option, but the most common reason appears to be longer life spans -- individuals no longer wish to stay an additional twenty or thirty years in a marriage they are no longer satisfied with. However, grey divorce brings with it unique challenges for those who choose to undertake it. 

The Pew Research Institute estimates that the prevalence of grey divorce has more than doubled in the last 25 years, with those over the age of 60 comprising the bulk of that number. Some experts have noted that those as old as 90 have chosen to end marriages that have spanned decades. However, for those still approaching retirement age, grey divorce can have profound implications on their retirement planning and savings. This is why some couples choose a prolonged separation over a traditional divorce -- to avoid losing access to joint health care and retirement plans.

This is not always the best option, however. During a prolonged separation, a spouse can accrue debt or fritter away retirement money with the other spouse none the wiser but equally responsible for debts -- and losing out equally on retirement savings. This is why many family law experts suggest seeking the advice of qualified divorce attorneys in finalizing the process. 

Divorce is not easy at any age, but for the over-50 demographic, it can come with considerable financial implications. Family law experts are available in British Columbia to support those who choose to end marriages later in life. Their support can help to ensure an equitable split of marital assets so both spouses can enjoy their late life in their own ways. 

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