Are you getting divorced and are over the age of 50? If so, you may hear the term “gray divorce” as you go through the divorce process. Gray divorce has become a popular term to describe couples in their 50s and 60s deciding they no longer want to be married.
Regardless of your age or situation, having sound legal advice as you go through a divorce is essential. In addition to experience, it helps to hire a Fairfax divorce attorney who is compassionate and attuned to their client’s needs.
At The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC, we focus our entire law practice on divorces and family law cases. Attorney Afsana Chowdhury prefers to use a personal approach with every client to look out for their best interests throughout each phase of their divorce case.
Our Fairfax divorce lawyers have more than 11 years of combined legal experience. We also have a Superb 10.0 rating on Avvo and received the Avvo Client’s Choice Award. We also have a 10.0 lawyer rating with Justia.
Contact The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury at (703) 271-6519 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation with a Fairfax gray divorce lawyer. When you work with our legal team, we provide guidance, support, and sound legal guidance throughout your case.
How Our Fairfax Family Law Attorneys Can Help if You’re Going through a Gray Divorce in Virginia
The laws governing gray divorces in Virginia are the same as all other divorce cases. However, older couples may face unique issues that younger spouses do not face during a divorce. Therefore, hiring an experienced Fairfax gray divorce lawyer can help you deal with these challenges to give you the best foundation as you begin a single life again.
Attorney Afsana Chowdhury is named one of the 10 best attorneys for client satisfaction by the American Institute of Family Lawyers. She is also on the Top 10 Attorneys Under 40 list by the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys.
At The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC, our Virginia divorce lawyers have substantial experience handling all matters related to a divorce case. When you hire our law firm for a gray divorce, you can expect us to:
- Listen to your concerns so we can address all important issues in your case
- Ensure that you understand Virginia divorce laws and how they apply to your case
- Handle all communications with your spouse and their attorney
- Protect your best interests regarding financial matters, including dividing retirement accounts and marital property
- Discuss your goals and priorities for a gray divorce settlement
- Explore options for an uncontested divorce
- Engage in productive and efficient negotiations to reach a fair divorce settlement
Learn more about gray divorces and how we can help you by calling The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC, to request a free case evaluation with an experienced gray divorce lawyer in Fairfax, VA.
How Common Are Gray Divorces?
Traditionally, the divorce rate for older couples has been lower than the average divorce rate for other age groups. The number of gray divorces only slightly increased between 1970 and 1990. However, research shows that the number of gray divorces doubled in 2010.
According to a 2021 report by the U.S. Census Department, about 35% of the couples who divorced the year before were 55 years old and older. Baby boomers are getting divorced at higher rates today than in past years.
There is nothing wrong with getting divorced in your older years, but specific issues can complicate the divorce process. Therefore, it is wise to seek legal advice as soon as you think you might want to pursue a divorce.
Some couples 55 years and older decide to legally separate instead of divorce. They might realize that it is financially beneficial to stay married, but they want to live apart. In that case, our Fairfax gray divorce attorneys at The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC, can help you with a legal separation.
Common Reasons for Gray Divorces in Virginia
The reasons for a gray divorce are often similar or the same as the reasons couples of any age divorce. A spouse or both spouses might have had an affair, or issues related to money or domestic abuse could cause a spouse to seek a divorce.
However, some reasons older couples might decide to divorce that are unique to their situation include:
- All of their children have grown up and moved out of the house. Being “empty nesters” is not appealing as a couple. Now that the kids are gone, they have very little in common.
- The spouses have grown apart over two or three decades together.
- A lack of physical intimacy or sexual activity leads a spouse to want to search for another partner.
- Differences in opinions regarding how to spend their retirement, such as traveling versus staying at home.
- The couple does not communicate anymore and/or there is a lack of emotional connection between the couple.
- The spouses realize that life is shorter now and do not want to explore new relationships.
Whatever the reason for a gray divorce, the unique aspects of a gray divorce could be challenging to address. While each divorce is unique, some issues are common in gray divorces.
Issues to Consider When Filing a Gray Divorce in Fairfax, VA
Divorce after 50 seems like a daunting process. In many cases, a couple has spent decades building a life together. Now, they must find a way to separate their finances, divide marital property, and build a life without their spouse. Our legal team at The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC helps you address the unique aspects of a gray divorce, including:
Spouses in a gray divorce may have substantial assets after being married for many years. Therefore, property division might be more challenging in a gray divorce. Each spouse might have sentimental attachments to the same assets, which can cause disputes.
Virginia is an equitable division state. Marital assets are divided fairly. However, “fair” does not always mean equal.
Our Fairfax gray divorce lawyers help you develop a fair settlement for property division to propose to your spouse. Keep in mind that if you have a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, the marital agreement impacts how property is divided in a gray divorce.
In most cases, spouses can reach a settlement without court intervention. However, if you cannot agree, a judge will decide what is fair using a list of factors provided in the Virginia Code and the evidence presented in court.
Retirement and Social Security
Retirement and Social Security are important issues to address in gray divorces. In some situations, an ex-spouse could qualify for Social Security benefits.
Additionally, older couples tend to have retirement accounts with substantial funds. A substantial portion of the funds in the retirement accounts are likely to be considered marital property subject to division. Each of these issues must be considered when discussing asset allocation and spousal support.
Obtaining health insurance when you are older can be much more difficult, and older individuals might have higher health care costs. If your health insurance is through your spouse’s employment, losing health insurance could be devastating. Health insurance concerns might impact elements such as spousal support and property division.
Life Insurance and Estate Planning
Many couples have life insurance policies naming each other as the beneficiaries. For some couples, life insurance could play a significant role in their estate plan. Additionally, most couples name each other as their primary heirs for estate planning purposes.
Spouses in a gray divorce must carefully consider how the divorce impacts their estate plan. Failing to address these issues now could create problems in the future.
One of the issues in a gray divorce is whether both spouses have the required earning potential to support themselves after the divorce. Some spouses might have spent the entire marriage as homemakers. In that case, they might require spousal support. However, if the spouses are near retirement age, the spouse earning a higher income during the marriage might not have sufficient funds after retirement to pay spousal support.
Our Fairfax gray divorce lawyers have experience handling each of the above issues. We are well-versed in the matters related to gray divorces. We work with you to address each issue to develop a plan that benefits you.
What Is the Cost of a Gray Divorce in Fairfax, VA?
The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC, offers a different approach to divorce costs. When you hire our Fairfax gray divorce attorney, you pay a flat fee for our service.
Most attorneys charge by the number of hours they work on a case, but we do not use that model. We also cap our fees, so you do not need to worry about additional costs later.
The cost of a gray divorce varies based on several factors. When you meet with our Fairfax gray divorce lawyer, you receive a quote for a straightforward, fair, and transparent price for our services.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Fairfax Gray Divorce Lawyers
Do you have questions about getting divorced later in life? If so, our Fairfax gray divorce attorneys at The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC, can help. Call our law firm today at (703) 271-6519 to request a free case review with an experienced Fairfax divorce lawyer.