Saturday, July 10, 2010

Al & Tipper Gore and the Silver Divorce

A recent article in Newsweek reflected that the recent divorce announcement by Al & Tipper Gore is actually reflective of the marriage and divorce trends, and that there is a rise in what is called the “Silver Divorce,” which is a divorce between couples who have spent at least 25 married years together.

There are some significant issues that become immediately important in “Silver Divorces” when the couple has been married for a significant amount of time. This includes issues of retirement, pensions, spousal support, and even social security.
Michigan law dictates that all marital assets are to be split equally when a couple divorces. This means that if one of the spouses has an IRA, 401(k), or pension, that must be valued (determine what the marital portion is) and that marital portion must be shared equally.

Also, in long-term marriages, the courts will often grant a request of spousal support (alimony). The length of time and the amount will vary from situation to situation—but it is an important consideration and in many cases, absolutely necessary for one of the spouses.

Lastly, it is important that the issue of social security is addressed. If you have been married 10 years, then even after a divorce, one spouse may be able to collect social security based upon the other spouse’s work record. This is something that should be definitely be discussed with an attorney.

Whether or not there is a trend toward more “Silver Divorces,” what is crystal clear is that if you have been married that long, you need to be well equipped with a skilled divorce lawyer so that you are fully aware of what your rights are, what options exist for you, and how to prepare for your financial security moving forward.

You can read the Newsweek article here: The Rise of the ‘Silver Divorce’

If you are interested in learning more about divorce or family law, please call Wendy Alton at 248-380-9976 or email her at

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