divorce after retirement

Divorce After Retirement: Gray Divorce 2021


Divorce rates have recently been on the decline—that is, among young people. Couples over the age of 50 have been divorcing at much higher rates over the past twenty years. Between 1990 and 2010, this age group doubled their divorce rate. In 2010 alone, 1 in 4 of all divorces were between persons 50 and older. This means divorce after retirement is on the rise. Many couples in this phase of life have declining health, children that are busy with their lives and careers or have moved away, and these issues can strain a marriage. 

Gray Divorce

People in their retirement years, or nearing that stage, are unable to absorb a lot of financial risk and unwilling to gamble with their financial future. Some see a divorce as a risk, but for others it can’t be avoided. One study on Gray Divorce found that shared economic resources actually tend to reduce the rate of divorce in couples over 50. 

Whatever the reason to pursue divorce, the process always comes with obstacles, difficulties, and many steps. If you are considering a gray divorce, you’ll want to know the details of how your estate and assets will be affected. 

Is it Better to Divorce Before or After Retirement?

This is a complicated question, and can only be addressed through carefully planned strategies. The straight up “yes” or “no” answer will be different for every couple. 

Often it’s best to create a team to help you make a decision. Talk to your divorce lawyer, your financial advisor, and your estate planning attorney. Seek out counsel from multiple sources so you can understand all the possibilities, outcomes, and potential downfalls. 

For example, did you know that your 401(k), pension, and other retirement accounts are considered joint assets? You’ll discover bits of important information like this during the process of seeking help. 

You’ll need to ask a lot of questions, and you’ll need to know how divorce is handled in the courtroom. You’ll also need to form a complete picture of your money (assets, debts, etc.) and apply different scenarios or hypotheticals to see how each would affect your financial future. 

Divorce, Trusts, and Estate Planning

As a second-generation firm, Phelps LaClair thoroughly understands the complexities of estate planning, including what happens to a trust in a divorce. Failing to plan is planning to fail. This saying is just as true for marriage as it is for estates. If you have questions about your current estate plan and how a divorce may affect it, we can help.

When you are looking for an estate planning firm in Arizona, consider these ten questions. At Phelps LaClair we provide our clients with a lifetime service package that will allow you to have more access to your attorney with free phone calls for all your questions and free trust review meetings every three years.   

Let us help you with all of your estate planning needs. We will create a plan that works for your life and protects your hard-earned assets through thick and thin.


Contact us to start your first estate plan today.





photo from Pixabay on 7/16/2021 | used under the Creative Commons license | no changes made

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