Toronto Grey Divorce Services
Perhaps you simply grew apart. Maybe the decades of your marriage featured infidelity, financial problems, or addiction. Whatever the reason, if you’re over 50 and preparing to divorce your long-time spouse, we provide Toronto grey divorce services aimed at alleviating some of the common problems that are unique to this type of divorce.
What Is a Grey Divorce?
The term “grey divorce” initially referred to a divorce that occurred between individuals who had been married for at least 40 years. However, as time has gone by, the phrase has often been used to refer to a divorce involving individuals of the Baby Boomer generation, regardless of the length of their marriage. According to an article in the National Post, divorce rates among older individuals have sharply increased in recent years in the U.S., Australia, India, and the U.K. While Canada does not keep current data on age-based divorce rates, statistics indicate that the average median age for divorce increased about six years for both male and female Canadians in less than a decade.
Researchers believe that there are several reasons why more older individuals are getting divorced, including:
- Longer lives. The life expectancy in Canada has increased about 20 years for both men and women in the last century and is expected to continue to increase. With a longer life comes more time to make decisions and start new adventures. Longer lives also contribute to a higher divorce rate among the older population for the simple reason that more of them are alive to divorce.
- Differences in values. While Gen X, Millennial, and even Gen Z couples are waiting longer to get married and are even skipping marriage altogether, the Baby Boomer generation was responsible for the leap in the divorce rate in the 70s and divorce has continued to be a regular part of that generation’s collective experience ever since.
- Empty nest and/or retirement. When children grow up and leave the home or when a spouse retires, couples are often left with no idea how to spend the extra time they have available. Many couples discover that they have grown apart during this time of transition.
What Do Silver Splitters Need to Know About Divorce?
Divorce at an older age is increasing. However, late-in-life divorces pose a number of logistical challenges for those who are retired or are planning to retire soon. Retirement benefits, like other benefits, income, and assets, go into the equalization pot to be split down the middle. In Ontario, if you are a business owner, you should be aware that your business assets are also considered marital property in many cases and can be subject to equalization.
Being expected to live on half of the assets you expected to have in your later years is difficult for many divorcing individuals, particularly for women. It is important to obtain financial advice on how to make ends meet as well as legal advice on how to divide the assets legally and equitably.
Common Concerns During a Grey Divorce
While individuals seeking a divorce in their golden years do not have to worry about custody issues and child support as a younger divorcing couple might, there are some important financial considerations to be made. These considerations often include:
- The division of retirement benefits. Recent pension legislation has made it easier to divide those benefits in Ontario, though it can create sticky issues with determining spousal support as the support payments can depend on retirement benefits that have not yet been paid. Splitting your pension also adds complexity to the ability to actually retire as planned, as the amount that was intended to last through the golden years has been divided in half.
- The division of assets that can include the family home, secondary residences, pension, and sources of income. Some seniors have higher valued assets which can make division complex.
- Spousal support, which is generally either paid in a lump sum or through a promise to pay a specific amount over a set period of time.
- Sorting out estate plans, wills, and beneficiaries in order to avoid later confusion. Many individuals who are divorcing fail to change their beneficiary information on wills, life insurance plans and other benefits. This can result in confusion upon death when it comes time to distribute proceeds of these assets to beneficiaries.
Finding the Right Toronto Grey Divorce Lawyer for You and Your Family
The divorce rate for individuals over 50 in a remarriage is double that of individuals getting married for the first time. Getting a divorce after age 50 requires major financial considerations in order to protect your ability to live comfortably with half of the equity you spent years acquiring. Let our experienced lawyer explain the Toronto grey divorce services we provide and to give you more information about the process of getting a divorce.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is considered a grey divorce?
In general, grey divorces involve individuals who are over the age of 50 and are typically members of the baby boomer generation. These couples tend to have been married for a significant amount of time, and their assets may be more challenging to divide in the divorce.
When should I first contact a grey divorce lawyer in Toronto?
You should contact a grey divorce lawyer as soon as you think you may need one! No matter where you are in the divorce process, a lawyer will be able to help. This is particularly important for couples who have been married for a long time, and have significant assets together.
How do I protect my assets in a grey divorce?
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your assets during divorce proceedings is to work with a lawyer who has specific experience working with people who have been married a long time. Grey divorces have particular challenges due to the length of time the couple has been together, and in order to make sure the divorce is fair, you want to make sure your lawyer has the necessary experience dealing with grey divorces.