If you are over the age of 50 and thinking about dissolution of marriage, you should know that “gray divorce,” as it is sometimes called, is not unusual.
Between 1990 and 2010, the divorce rate among seniors doubled, say Bowling Green State University sociologists. Though ending a marriage at a mature age is no longer considered out of the ordinary, many older couples may not know what to expect.
Retirement money reduction
You will want to be prepared for a reduction in the money you expected to have in your golden years. Money from any retirement fund you and your spouse might own, such as a 401(K), is about to undergo division. Now there will only be about half as much money as you had anticipated.
Give and take
The marital home is one of the largest assets to address in the property division phase of your divorce. Many women want to keep the home they lived in and cared for over the years. Bear in mind that if you want to keep your home, you will have to give up something of equal value to your spouse. You might, for example, waive alimony payments or your share of a retirement account.
As to the subject of alimony, the court almost always grants it when divorce ends a long-term marriage.
The needs of older children
Just because your children are grown does not mean they do not need you. They may still need your financial help, especially. You might also be helping an elderly parent in this way. However, financial support for a third party does not normally become part of the divorce settlement. You and your spouse may have to figure out how you are going to continue supporting your children or aging parents financially, as the divorce will bring changes to your own finances.
Maintaining a good attitude
Many times, older couples try to steer clear of contentious divorces. Although litigation is always an option, dissolving your union in an amicable manner will help you end one chapter of your life and begin the next with dignity and confidence.