Collaborative law is often a good choice for Maryland couples going through so-called ‘gray’ divorce, which basically means choosing to divorce when both spouses are over the age of 50. For those who are unfamiliar with collaborative law, this process involves a couple amicably deciding the issues of their divorce rather than going through a more contentious litigation and allowing a judge to make the final decisions. Both spouses will sit down with a team of professionals that can include attorneys, financial planners and even licensed mental health professionals who serve as coaches to help iron out all of the issues.

Gray divorce has seen a huge increase over the past few decades. Back in 1990, only one in ten couples filing for divorce were aged 50 of over. That contrasts pretty markedly with the one in four couples over the age of 50 filing for divorce in 2009. Many reasons may be behind this growing trend, including a decreasing stigma toward divorce in American society in general, and the fact that many Baby Boomers are more self-aware about wanting fulfilling marriages.

Many of the people in this age demographic made the conscious choice to stay together until their children are grown and out of the house. Once that occurs, they decide they no longer want to stay in an unhappy marriage, especially when confronted with the fact that people are living longer than ever. This can be especially true for women, since statistics show that they often live longer and enjoy greater levels of health than their male counterparts.

An older Maryland couple that decides to divorce may be interested in researching the collaborative law process. This can provide a quicker, less expensive option for some couples and can allow the splitting spouses the chance to decide issues such as alimony, dividing up marital assets and retirement benefits. That last can be a particularly important issue for couples over the age of 50. By researching divorce mediation, couples over the age of 50 may find that it is a desirable option to make their breakup happen as smoothly and amicably as possible.

Source: Washington Times Communities, “Baby boomers and 50 shades of gray divorce,” Myra Fleischer, March 28, 2013