3 considerations in a California gray divorce

by | Aug 16, 2022 | Divorce

Divorces do not bear the same stigma in the U.S. as they did in the past. As a result, they are not as uncommon as before.

Gray divorces are also on the rise. However, while they are the same in many ways as other divorces, they also include different considerations.

1. Alimony

The court has discretion in deciding whether or not to grant spousal support. However, in older marriages, those that lasted 10 or more years, judges often award alimony and may choose not to specify a deadline.

2. Retirement and savings

California operates under a community property policy, meaning that courts split marital assets directly down the middle and give half to each spouse. This includes retirement accounts, pensions and nest eggs.

3. Social Security benefits

If the former spouse does not remarry and the marriage lasted at least 10 years, this individual may qualify to receive Social Security benefits on his or her ex-spouse’s record. This applies as long as:

  • The individual is at least 62
  • The ex-spouse qualifies for Social Security or Social Security disability benefits
  • The individual’s benefits, if he or she received them, are lower in value than the ex-spouse’s

Due to often considerable length of the marriages and the proximity to retirement, gray divorces have the potential to be complex. There are also often more assets involved since there is more time to accumulate wealth. While California courts divide property based on equality, with non-liquid assets a spouse may want to keep, negotiation may be necessary.