Divorce is one of the most stressful life events a person can go through in Pennsylvania. It can be emotionally, financially and mentally draining no matter the ages of the people involved. It can be even harder on older couples than on young couples with children. For people who have been married for a long time, future plans and assets may be tied together in ways that are hard to unravel.
According to data published by the Pew Research Center, the divorce rate for Americans who are at least 50 years old has approximately doubled in the years since the 1990s. While shorter marriages and second marriages are more likely to end in divorce, a significant percentage of later in life divorces involve couples who have been together for at least 30 years. The phenomenon has been referred to as gray divorce.
A gray divorce can severely impact retirement plans for both parties, who may find themselves with many of the same expenses but only half of the income. People should keep tax consequences in mind as they negotiate property division. The 2018 standard deduction for single people is $12,000, rather than $24,000 for married couples. It may make sense in some cases for the person who earns less money to take pretax investments like IRAs in the divorce, because that person may have less tax to pay in the future.
In a case where a person is divorcing later in life, a lawyer might be able to help. A lawyer with experience in family law might help the client negotiate the terms of property division or help distinguish between marital and separate property.