There was a time when married couples approaching their fifties primarily remained together, regardless of any problems with their marriages. “Toughing it out” for stability’s sake was the rule, and any separation was the exception.
Fast forward to today. People are living longer. More opportunities exist when it comes to their golden years, particularly with children out of the house. While other categories of divorce continue to decrease, gray divorces grow every year.
Changing course later in life
Defined as marital dissolutions of people older than 50 not staying in marriages they see as loveless, fiftysomethings in less-than-satisfactory unions are more likely to roll the dice and start over in pursuit of a new life. These types of divorces also have spouses who worked and are both now financially independent. However, the financial fallout can be devastating when one partner focuses on the kids and home.
One of the more complex aspects of gray divorce is property division. The longer the marriage, the more assets couples enjoy, including financial, business, property, and retirement accounts. Dividing those assets can present serious complications. Unlike divorce for younger people, retirement benefits, salary bonuses, stocks, executive compensation, and even airline miles and hotel points can be part of the property division.
When considering the finalization, future needs must be addressed. Heath insurance coverage, Medicare, long-term disability insurance, life insurance, and social security, in particular, are paramount for older people. In those situations, a Certified Financial Divorce Analyst may be helpful in sorting everything out.
Divorce is an emotionally-charged and life-altering event regardless of age or stage. The help of a skilled attorney can potentially make the process easier.