Dublin Ohio Family Law Blog

Gray divorces require thoughtful resolutions

In America, there has been an increase in gray divorce rates. Gray divorces, or divorces involving those who are 50 or older and who have likely been married for a long time, have been on the rise for the last couple decades.

Gray divorcees, who are also known as "diamond or silver splitters" due to their likelihood of having gray hair, must be cautious about how they separate. There may be a lot more to lose in a gray divorce. You may have retirement accounts, stocks, savings, benefits or other things to consider when divorcing that younger couples may not yet need to handle.

Women contemplating divorce need financial understanding

Marriage is a huge commitment made by many people as they enter their late twenties and early thirties. What is perceived as a forever commitment may change as the couple gets older. Some may grow apart as interests and values change. Divorce may be the result, but economics can play a role in whether or not a couple stays together in Ohio.

Finances can be a big concern for women who are considering a divorce. Women who chose to stay home to raise children may wish to reenter the workforce, but they may find this comes with significant challenges. They may pay for their absence from the workforce with reduced income options and face an uphill battle to achieve the level of income they enjoyed prior to raising a family.

Knowledge of finances can help women prepare for divorce

There are many decisions that people undertake throughout their lives. These include the decision on which college to attend, who to marry, to have children or not, and to divorce or not. Women with children in Ohio who find themselves in unhappy marriages should not need to feel compelled to stay in the marriage for the benefit of the children. A happy family situation can be more beneficial to a child than an unhappy and stressful household.

Children are very adaptable. Young children in particular can adjust to a new normal family life as long as they feel loved and secure. In making the decision of whether or not to pursue a divorce, a woman should become as familiar as possible with the family's finances. This will help her better understand what post-divorce life might look like.

Reducing the cost of divorce

A couple meet, get to know each other, fall in love and get married. They have and raise children and send their adult children off to college to begin their adult lives in Ohio. The couple are now empty nesters. Sometimes people use this time to reconnect and begin the next phase of their married life, or they may find they have grown apart and no longer wish to remain married. This phenomena is known as gray divorce and is increasing in Ohio and around the country.

Ending a marriage can be an expensive proposition but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the cost. A traditional divorce for a couple over 50 can be quite expensive. There are alternatives to traditional divorce, including mediation and a collaborative divorce. Both of these involve the couple and their attorneys talking to each other directly and can take less time and save money.

Financial considerations for divorce after 50

The overall divorce rate in America has declined in recent years, but the divorce rate in Ohio and across the country among those aged 50 and over has significantly increased in recent years. Since those divorcing in their 50s and 60s are nearing retirement age it makes sense that divorce could have a significant impact on retirement finances. The impact on happiness and finances can be positive and negative.

Studies have shown that divorcees in their 50s and 60' are overall a happier group than those who divorce at a younger age. Married retired women are still happier but the increase in older women who are divorced has given rise to the need for new retirement strategies for this group. Financial strategies involving real estate, 401(k) accounts, pensions and Social Security can all be used to build a retirement strategy after divorce.

Unmarried with kids? Here's what to remember

When you're not married but want to start a family, you need to take steps to protect the integrity of your family unit. Fathers, in particular, must take special steps to guarantee their parental rights in Ohio. When they are not married, there is no assumption that they are the father of a child (after all, the only obvious biological parent would be the mother).

When any child is born out of wedlock, it's a very good idea for fathers to take steps to establish paternity. Even if the mother agrees that this is your child, you should make sure you are the one acknowledging paternity. If there is any question of paternity, get a DNA test to prove that you are the father of your child.

Perhaps a prenuptial agreement can lessen the chance of divorce

Marriage and divorce can be looked at as two sides of the same coin. Marriage, when flipped on its head, can lead to a divorce. One of the most common causes of a marriage leading to divorce in Ohio is a misunderstanding or deception regarding a couple's finances.

Full financial disclosure is required of both sides in a divorce negotiation. Perhaps if a full disclosure was done prior to marriage, the financial disharmony leading to a divorce would not occur. Prenuptial agreements are often looked at as something pertaining to wealthy marriages where millions of dollars are at stake in the event of a divorce. While most people don't have millions to be concerned about, one's own financial holdings are no less important.

Failure to change beneficiaries in a divorce can be costly

While the divorce rate has seen a slight decline in recent years, almost half of those who marry still face the prospect of divorce. When a marriage ends in Ohio, the couple divide the assets and are free to continue their respective lives as newly single individuals without legal ties to each other -- except where the issue of federal retirement accounts might be concerned. Failure to address beneficiary designations can have unintended consequences following a divorce.

When a person starts a new job and signs up for an employer-provided 401(k) plan, one is asked to designate a beneficiary. The beneficiary is typically one's spouse. If the employee predeceases the spouse, the proceeds of the account will transfer to the beneficiary. In the event of a divorce, the owner of the account must designate a new beneficiary, or the ex-spouse could still receive the proceeds.

High-asset divorce can be very complicated

Divorce can be sticky wicket. A high-asset divorce involving large amounts of money and other assets can be a very complex and time-consuming process that may not fully end with a final settlement in Ohio. Such is the situation in a case playing out in another state.

A couple decided to divorce. He was the Vice President of sales and an equity shareholder of a company that manufactured parts for nuclear power plants. In the separation agreement, it indicated that the wife would receive 20% of any proceeds that the husband received from the sale of the company at any time. But that language was omitted in the final divorce settlement.

Legal separation as an alternative to divorce

Divorce is becoming a more frequent occurrence among older people in Ohio and elsewhere in the country. It even has its own nomenclature, the gray divorce. Many divorces begin as trial separations and may end in divorce or a legal separation. For those who separate, divorce is not necessarily the end result of the separation. Some couples may choose to remain separated indefinitely.

Reasons for this decision can be many and are often financial. One reason couples who haven't been married that long give is the 10-year requirement for certain Social Security benefits. If a couple is married for 10 years or longer there may be Social Security advantages to waiting to divorce until after the 10-year mark. Health insurance may also be a concern if a spouse is covered by an employer. There may also be tax benefits to remaining married and filing jointly.


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Kemp Law Group, LLC

Kemp Law Group, LLC
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Dublin, OH 43017

Phone: 614-389-1991
Fax: 614-389-3352
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