Surviving a Gray Divorce

Surviving a Gray Divorce

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It’s always difficult to go through a divorce, but it can be even more difficult when you’re getting a “gray divorce”. Over the past ten years, the divorce rate for people over 50 has doubled, and many of these couples have been married for over 20 years. Nowadays, people live longer, so when you divorce at an older age you have a financial future to worry about. Here are some of the unique challenges you may experience during a gray divorce:

Retirement is approaching, or you’re already retired

Even if you had retirement under control before you filed for divorce, it will be more uncertain once the ruling is final. You could potentially lose a large chunk of your retirement savings in a gray divorce. The situation becomes more complex because retirement includes pensions, IRAs and 401ks, all of which have different rules and requirements, as well as tax consequences.

Health concerns are vital

Additional health concerns occur when you’re over 50. Maybe you’ve already experienced them or you’re receiving preventative care. Medical expenses usually increase after 50, and you might even be considering long-term care options. To understand what health insurance options are available to you after the divorce, it’s essential to stay well-informed throughout.

You might be supporting adult children

Your children are probably adults if you’re getting divorced later in life. However, they’re still an important concern as you go through the process. It’s painful for children to watch their parents split no matter how old they are. As adults, they understand that all relationships don’t last forever, but you should still make their feelings a priority. You might also be supporting your children even if they’re in college or working full-time.

Financial record access

It may be difficult if you’re living in separate houses, but you need to gather records of bank accounts, tax returns, financial statements, retirement accounts, pension plans, IRAs, 401ks and other assets. During the divorce process, your attorney and financial experts need to evaluate all the marital assets and decide how to divide them evenly. Divorce spanning decades will include many joint assets and accounts, which can be difficult to distribute. Gathering a team that you trust is the best way to handle complex divorces.

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