Northern Virginia Elder Divorce Attorneys Help Baby Boomers Achieve a Fresh Start and New Beginning

Providing step-by-step legal guidance before, during and after your divorce

Divorce is rarely an easy decision and often brings additional stress, both financially and emotionally. Recent trends indicate that more and more individuals over the age of 50 are choosing to end their marriage and begin a new journey. The decision to divorce over the age of 50 is complicated by issues that are specific to individuals approaching and passing retirement age, including retirement choices, estate planning, illness, and disability. According to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, the divorce rate among people over 50 roughly doubled from 1990 to 2010. Approximately one in four individuals choosing to divorce in 2010 was over the age of 50 as opposed to one in 10 in 1990. Elder divorce, sometimes referred to as gray or silver divorce, often involves extensive assets and property and requires particular legal skills and experience to achieve favorable resolutions. The divorce attorneys at Culin, Sharp, Autry & Day, P.L.C. provide experience and judgment necessary to ease the transition when divorce occurs later in life.

Understanding the issues inherent in divorcing after 50

Divorce at any age is arguably a difficult process rife with potential pitfalls. Choosing to divorce after the age of 50 often enhances those disputes. Couples that divorce in their 20s or 30s may often have smaller estates and fewer financial holdings than couples who have built a life together over the course of two or three decades. Couples may have engaged in joint estate planning that impacts the manner in which assets are allocated in the divorce. In many cases, older couples have multiple real estate properties and valuable personal property that must be valued and equitably distributed. If a couple owns a business together, the business interests must be properly valued. One party may be required to buy the other spouse’s interest to maintain ownership of the business.

Spousal support, or alimony, is also an issue that may play a significant role in elder divorce. Particularly among Baby Boomers, families often made the choice for women to stay home to raise children and take care of the family home as opposed to pursuing outside employment. When a woman over the age of 50 is facing divorce and does not have the financial resources or educational background to support herself, the court may order spousal support. Our Northern Virginia elder divorce attorneys understand the unique issues surrounding spousal support faced by couples who chose to structure their families such that one party stayed home or made career sacrifices for the benefit of the family.

In any Virginia divorce, a court evaluating the need for spousal support considers several factors including:

  • Each party’s independent financial resources
  • The earning capacity of each spouse
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The income earning potential of any marital property
  • Potential tax implications
  • Each party’s contribution during the marriage, both financial and intangible
  • The duration of the marriage

Spousal support may be ordered for a short duration or longer depending on the specific circumstances of the marriage. In some cases, one spouse may need additional training or educational support to obtain the skills necessary to provide independent financial support, and those needs can be considered by a Virginia court in making its determinations regarding any spousal support award.

Rely on skilled Northern Virginia elder divorce lawyers

Divorce often brings a great deal of uncertainty and confusion, especially when you’ve been married for a long period of time. At Culin, Sharp, Autry & Day P.L.C., our Northern Virginia divorce attorneys focus on elder divorce and compassionately guiding clients during an often-tumultuous life event. Our emphasis on teamwork allows us to harness our expertise across all areas of practice to develop practical and satisfying solutions. To discuss your options, contact us online or call 703-934-2940. We represent elder divorce clients throughout Northern Virginia.