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What is a Grey Divorce?

Welcome to another edition of Bouschor Family Radio. Today we’re talking with David Bouschor about a new phenomenon that’s called the Grey Divorce. And this is an area where you see a lot of divorces happening these days.

David: It is. As far as a new phenomenon, I think it’s something that’s been recognized for the last ten to twenty years. But we’re seeing more and more of it because of people’s life expectancies, physical health, and a lot of economic reasons.

Tim: And as Baby Boomers are moving into what would be that Grey time frame, the Baby Boomers, of course, being a real bubble, it means that there are just more people in that age range and at that point in their lives where they’re making a decision to go down a different path.

David: I think that an awful lot of people that are in their 50s are thinking about maybe the second half of their life, with age expectancies being up in the 80s and 90s now instead of dying in your 60s. Their relationships have changed, and they’ve decided to go down a different path for the second half of their life.

Tim: So when kids are no longer present, it means that there are different issues in a divorce. What are some of the issues in a Grey divorce?

David: Well, the issues tend to be more property and economic. When people are in their 50s and 60s, they are looking more at their economic stability when they may have retired or when they are not working as much. And things about providing for a young child just aren’t an issue anymore.

Tim: So that when the divorce begins, in a Grey divorce, what are the things that both sides are needing to focus on as they try to move to that next stage in their life?

David: Well with any divorce, your first decision is how you want to get divorced. There’s Collaborative Divorce and there’s litigation. But in both cases, getting economic information, whether it be information about bank accounts, information about retirement, information about investments and what’s happened to those all need to be accumulated to smoothly move through the divorce.

Tim: And I guess one of the frightening pieces is if you’ve been a spouse that has not been working, how are you going to be supported for the rest of your life?

David: Well that is very front of mind with a lot of people. There were agreements during a divorce: one spouse worked, one spouse didn’t. In Texas, everything is community property or presumed to be community property. So there is an ownership in the existing property. But often you will have a spouse who has a large amount of work experience, a high-paying job. The day after the marriage is ended by divorce that spouse still has those things, but the stay at home spouse, which over the years raised the children, kept the house, and really made it possible for the other spouse to get that work experience, doesn’t have anything. So there are methods by which you can support both spouses, but they have to be explored.

Tim: So the starting point, if you are in that Grey divorce category, the first thing to do is to call and set up an appointment to talk with you or an attorney about those kinds of options.

David: That’s correct, and I think that you also need an attorney who has experience with the property issues who can advise you about what your outcomes may look like because just getting you a chunk of the estate may not be even what you want. For example: if you end up with the house, but it still has a house payment and you can’t afford it, that wasn’t a good solution.

Tim: So the first thing: call David Bouschor. Talk to him about what you can do and how to move forward so that you come out of this with a healthy situation financially following the divorce.

David: Absolutely!

Tim: This has been another edition of Bouschor Family Radio.

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