Challenges of a Gray Divorce - Tax Professionals Member Article By Tiffany Gaskin
Posted by Tiffany Gaskin

Challenges of a Gray Divorce

Challenges of a Gray Divorce

Having a divorce at an old age can be detrimental for many reasons. Gray divorce, often referred to as silver splitter or diamond divorce, is a divorce that happens when the couples are old. The term is used to define divorce that happens above 50 years. 

It was introduced into the mainstream in 2004 after a study on midlife and beyond divorce. The record shows that gray divorce is and continues to grow among couples in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. The trend is moving online among divorce lawyers as the situation has become prevalent in two decades. 

If you and your gray-haired partner plan to separate, here are some challenges.  

  1. Retirement Benefits and Social Security

Sharing assets after the divorce is a regular thing but can be challenging when sharing Social Security benefits. The benefits are under the Social Security federal program the government provides to aid retirees through payroll taxes. The current age for couples to enjoy this benefit is 62 years, and the benefits must be split among the couples based on calculation. 

Money made as a pension is considered a shared profit between couples and subjected to a fair estimate for each member. The pension money is divided equally and sent to each partner's account. This rule also applies to retirement funds. This is the case because it is considered that the money was accumulated when the couples were married. The process is unfair to the partner who has worked hard to have a good retirement. Sometimes, the funds may be insufficient for each partner if split. 

  1. Division of Assets

Assets are divided between separated partners after divorce. It is only lawful to divide the assets, which is unfair to the partner that has worked hard for it. A person has worked his or her entire life to make such money, and splitting it between them after divorce seems unfair to one party. This situation can be frustrating but happens in each divorce. 

However, the assets accumulated before marriage are not shared but may not be enough to care for the remaining life. Sharing the asset is not much more challenging compared to figuring out if the assets are marital or premarital. This issue is more complicated in gray divorce because of the time spent together. The growth that happens during the marriage years affects the share of a partner's assets. Many couples conflict when it comes to claiming these assets. Most times, the case is a lengthy process that has to be cleared by the court. Each partner will have a lawyer fighting for what is fair to their client. Finally, the dividend amount is settled by the judge. 

  1. Health Insurance

Health insurance is another aspect spouses have to fight over. The benefits are temporary for a spouse that is not employed and gets terminated after divorce. The absence of health insurance in old age is deteriorating and may not be affordable due to unemployment. A partner is allowed to remove the other partner as beneficiary during the divorce case. Plus, the life insurance policyholder can remove all claims of the benefiting partner after the divorce. However, no scheme has been implemented to avoid this bad case.

  1. Challenges for Children

Adult kids are not left outside the circus. Sometimes, these kids have to refocus their attention on settling cases instead of channeling the energy to their careers. When trying to save the marriage doesn't work, the children are forced to choose between both parents. This brings issues between children, leading to embarrassment and uncomfortable disclosure of marriage details.

The kids also have to deal with their parent's emotions after the divorce. Sometimes, the parent relies on them for financial support, which can cause havoc on the children's plans to establish their careers, and future.


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Tiffany Gaskin
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