Colorado Divorce Amongst the Elderly

December 20, 2011
Categories: Colorado Divorce Info | Author: Harris Law Firm

While I don’t have hard data to prove this, The Harris Law Firm is certainly seeing more and more “gray” Colorado divorces.   And, these cases bring with them some unique challenges.

In my opinion, we lack verifiable evidence to support the current rates of divorce, much less divorce amongst the elderly. In fact, the U.S. Census has only recently begun tracking divorce nationally.   However, anecdotally, in our practice we are seeing more and more of these cases.   This could be due to the fact that people are living longer, and in better health.   So, many are perhaps more likely to want to have a new partner with whom to live out their final decades.
Regardless, here are some unique aspects of the “gray” divorce:
  • Retirement assets:  People have different considerations in dividing up retirement accounts and other assets when they are post-retirement. Retirement accounts are typically in pay-out stage, and this creates unique tax implications, both for the parties and their future estate.  Careful attention needs to be paid to meeting each party’s financial needs when income streams may be limited.  Social security retirement and disability benefits should always be considered.
  • Legacy issues: We see much more involvement by the adult children of the divorcing couple.  They may have difficult, competing agendas in terms of protecting the family money, or they may be acting out emotional grudges against a parent, or a step-parent. In many cases, one or more of the parties has emotional or mental difficulty in working with the lawyer, and that necessitates the involvement.
  • Medical issues:  Oftentimes, one or more of the parties has a significant medical condition.  This requires careful attention to the division of the assets and the property, as well as careful attention to the health insurance coverage.
  • Maintenance / Alimony: These issues may be more challenging.  Oftentimes, it is necessary to make sure that the lesser-earning spouse has adequate coverage, but timing that support until the commencement of retirement assets’ liquidity.

Located in Denver (303) 515-5000 and Fort Collins (970) 472-1838, The Harris Law Firm is Colorado's largest family law firm.  Focusing exclusively on Colorado Divorce and Colorado Child Custody and Support, the firm's philosophy is to work with you to resolve your legal matter in the best way possible. When you consult with one of our attorneys, the expert legal advice you receive will help you understand your rights and options according to Colorado law. And when you retain this AV rated firm, the many years of combined experience provided by your legal team will ensure that the resolution of your case is handled in the most organized, timely, cost efficient and effective manner possible. If you want to limit conflict and protect your rights, call us today to schedule a private consultation in our Denver or Fort Collins offices. Call us at 303-515-5000 or send us an email at

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