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Special concerns in divorce for older adults

“Gray divorce” refers to divorce among older adults. People in Pennsylvania might divorce at an older age because when their children leave home, they realize they have little in common. However, older adults might also divorce for the same reasons younger couples do, such as infidelity and addiction.

Some people might divorce because they disagree about finances. One might be bad with money or they may disagree about how to manage their money. The lives of older adults are longer and healthier than in previous generations, and this could make them more likely to seek a more satisfying relationship later in life.

However, this does not make divorce any easier, and there are a number of issues that may arise that are unique to older adults. Even grown children are likely to be affected by their parents’ divorce and may struggle to adjust to the changes, which could include both the loss of their family unit and the introduction of new family members. Division of property can also be complex for older individuals. They may have accumulated a number of assets by this time. If one person has not worked outside the home for a long time, this can be an especially difficult transition, particularly if that person has not had much to do with the marital finances.

Couples are often able to reach an agreement through negotiation instead of going to court. Their attorneys can assist them with this negotiation or with litigation if it is necessary. One big concern for older adults may be dividing their retirement accounts. Some, such as 401(k)s, require a document known as a qualified domestic relations order that must be approved by the plan administrator to divide them in a divorce. IRAs do not need a QDRO, but other rules must be followed.