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Why divorce can be more difficult later in life

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2022 | Divorce |

Most married couples in Michigan and elsewhere have encountered problems in their relationships. Many have happy memories but also experience relationship troubles from time to time. In cases where problems seem insurmountable, spouses often decide to divorce, which can be stressful, especially if the couple has been together for decades.  

Filing a petition to end a marriage at age 55 or beyond is commonly referred to as a “gray divorce.” Such proceedings often include complex financial issues regarding retirement benefits, estate plans or other relevant topics. Especially for a spouse who has spent several decades at home full-time, a gray divorce can spark severe financial distress.  

Adult children often experience emotional trauma when parents divorce 

Many spouses stay in unhappy marriages for years because they don’t want to disrupt the lives of their children. When their kids are grown and on their own, however, the parents sometimes decide to file for divorce. A parent may be surprised to discover that an adult son or daughter may have a difficult time coming to terms with the situation.  

Ironing out the wrinkles in a gray divorce settlement 

Older Michigan spouses often have estate plans in place that include an advance directive. It is not uncommon to issue power of attorney to a spouse. If a divorce takes place later in life, such documents may need to be updated to reflect new preferences. If the spouses are willing to work together amicably, they will probably be able to resolve gray divorce issues and reach a fair settlement without going to court. However, it is wise to seek legal counsel from the start, especially in case litigation takes place. 


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