Westside Family Law

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Grey divorce requires unique family law considerations

Terms like "grey divorce" and "silver separations" have been making headlines recently. This is due to an increase in break-ups between older couples, especially those who have been together for 20-plus years. Experts are weighing in on the reasons for this increase, as well as the family law considerations for British Columbia couples divorcing later in life.

In 2011, Statistics Canada reported that one in five people in their late 50s identified as divorced or separated. This group had the highest rate of separated and divorced Canadians -- more than any other group. By comparison, in 1981, only 6.9 percent of women and 6.2 percent of men were divorced or separated. The possible reasons for this change vary from a change in life expectancies to shifting social norms.

Regardless of the root causes, older divorcees have unique financial considerations. For example, retirement savings must be re-evaluated following a break-up. Estate plans are also worth revisiting. Without an explicit change. it is possible for an ex who has been named a beneficiary to remain such under British Columbia family law. Protecting oneself financially from potential motives in relationships following a high-asset divorce is also wise.

British Columbia residents may need to restructure many parts of their lives. With so many family law considerations, lawyers are a good resource for anyone dealing with a break-up at any age. Working with legal council to understand your wants, needs and rights can help with any disputes as well as support the development of legal documents such as separation agreements and estate plans. 

Source: huffingtonpost.ca, "How To Start Over After A Grey Divorce", Oct. 18, 2017

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