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Grey Divorce: Navigating the Unique Challenges of Divorce Later in Life in CT│ Heidi Opinsky Law

What you need to know about getting a divorce in your golden years

Getting divorced early in your life after a few years of marriage is very different than choosing to start a new page in your life when you’re in your golden years. Surprisingly, there’s an increasing number of divorces in couples age 50 and above⁠—or grey divorces⁠— occurring. Nowadays, 36% of U.S. adults getting divorced are aged 50 or older, and statistics also show the only age group with an increasing divorce rate is adults aged 65 and older. (1)

Let’s take a look at the different considerations you should keep in mind when going through a grey divorce. 

Spousal Support in a Grey Divorce

In Connecticut, spousal support, also known as alimony, may be awarded in a grey divorce, which is a divorce involving spouses who are over the age of 50. However, the factors that a court considers when determining spousal support in a grey divorce may differ from those in a divorce involving younger spouses.

In general, when awarding spousal support, the court considers factors such as the length of the marriage, the income and earning capacity of each spouse, the age and health of each spouse, and the contributions of each spouse to the marriage. In a grey divorce, the court may also consider additional factors, such as:

  • The retirement and pension benefits of each spouse: In a grey divorce, retirement and pension benefits may be a significant source of income for each spouse. The court may consider these benefits when determining the amount and duration of spousal support.
  • The age and health of each spouse: In a grey divorce, the age and health of each spouse may be more important factors in determining spousal support. If one spouse has health issues or is nearing retirement age, they may have a more limited ability to earn income and may require more support.
  • The standard of living during the marriage: The court may consider the standard of living that the spouses enjoyed during the marriage when determining spousal support. If one spouse was financially dependent on the other during the marriage, they may be entitled to a higher level of support to maintain their standard of living.
  • The duration of spousal support: In a grey divorce, the duration of spousal support may be shorter than in a divorce involving younger spouses. This is because the court may consider the fact that the receiving spouse has less time to become financially independent.

It’s important to note that every grey divorce case is unique, and spousal support will be determined on a case-by-case basis. If you’re going through a grey divorce and have questions about spousal support, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney in Connecticut.

Housing Considerations when Divorcing as an Older Adult 

In a grey divorce, housing considerations can be especially important. Some of the key housing issues that may arise in a grey divorce include:

  • Owning a home: One of the biggest issues that can arise in a grey divorce is what to do with the family home. The couple may decide to sell the home and split the proceeds, or one spouse may keep the home and buy out the other spouse’s share of the equity. If one spouse wants to keep the home, they will need to consider whether they can afford the mortgage payments and upkeep costs on a single income.
  • Downsizing: If the couple decides to sell the family home, they will need to consider downsizing to a smaller home or apartment. This may be a good option if the couple no longer needs a large home and wants to reduce their expenses. However, it’s important to consider the costs of moving, as well as the emotional impact of leaving a long-time family home.
  • Retirement communities: Some couples may consider moving to a retirement community after a grey divorce. These communities can offer amenities like social activities, healthcare services, and maintenance-free living. However, they can also be expensive, and it’s important to consider whether the couple can afford the costs.
  • Living arrangements during the divorce process: During the divorce process, one spouse may need to find a new place to live while the couple decides what to do with the family home. This can be especially difficult for older individuals who may have fewer options for housing. It’s important to consider the costs of temporary housing and whether the couple can afford to maintain two separate households during the divorce process.

Housing considerations can be complex in a grey divorce. It’s always best for you to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate these issues and make informed decisions.

Speak With a Divorce Lawyer in CT Today to Get Help Navigating a Grey Divorce

Get in touch with an experienced divorce lawyer, Heidi Opinsky, at the Law Offices of Heidi Opinsky, LLC, today to get legal assistance with your grey divorce.

Visit our website to send us a message or call 203-653-3542 now and we will get back to you as soon as possible


1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35385579/