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Divorce decisions can change depending on length of marriage

The term 'gray divorce' refers to a marital dissolution that happens between people of an older age. Many New Yorkers who go through gray divorces have been married for 20, 30 or even 40 years. Though the technical aspects of ending a marriage later in life are similar to those associated with ending a shorter-term marriage between younger adults, older divorcees may have more to think about when it comes to dividing their money and assets.

In particular, women in gray divorces are often in a financially disadvantaged position relative to their soon-to-be exes. This is the case for several reasons, and this blog post will touch on just a few of these.

First, women are often the ones who give up their careers to stay home for their families. To this end, women in long-term marriages can find themselves removed from the workforce and in a difficult position when it comes to finding post-marriage employment. Therefore, women in gray divorce may choose to be more aggressive about securing marital assets and resources than their younger counterparts if they will be financially stretched when their marriages end.

Additionally, on average women tend to live longer than men. When couples in long-term marriages divorce, a former wife may have significantly more life ahead of her than her ex-husband. Since it is likely that she will need more money to live a longer life, she may want to plan and negotiate for that likelihood during the asset division and spousal support negotiations of her divorce.

All divorces present financial complexities. However, gray divorces may present additional challenges for some women. To learn more about how the length of a marriage may influence a divorced person's post-marriage needs, readers may wish to speak with their New York family law attorneys.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Gray Divorce: What Women Who Divorce Later in Life Need to Know," Debbie Carlson, July 21, 2016

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