Unlike the divorce of a younger couple who have not been married very long, a grey divorce presents a set of unique challenges. Couples who have been married 30 years or more will usually not only have significantly more assets to divide, but will also have many more sentimental items that are difficult to value.
Late-in-life divorce has become much more common over the past few years. Couples are discovering that after the children are raised and moved out on their own, they are very different people who just are not compatible any longer. Other reasons for these divorces may involve financial issues, infidelity, or simply different life paths.
Division of assets
Most often, there are significant assets to be valued and distributed within a grey divorce. The state of California is an equitable division state, meaning that all assets will be divided between the spouses equally, or as even as possible. Couples who have been together a long time may have retirement accounts, social security income, businesses, or a marital home that is paid for. In addition, there may be items of sentimental value that, while of no value to anyone outside, may be held priceless by the spouses. These items are extremely hard to value, and must be decided upon by the parties if at all possible. The marital home is also a major source of contention, both for financial and sentimental reasons.
Last, a grey divorce can hold significant tax implications that could prove financially devastating if not handled properly. Couples who are considering a late-in-life divorce would benefit from consulting with an experienced attorney who can help navigate the process, and hopefully negotiate a peaceful mutual agreement. In divorces that involve a business, it is highly recommended to speak with an attorney to make sure you are not making decisions that will cause devastating financial problems in the future.