“Grey divorce” is a term often used to address the end of a marriage between people who are above 50 years old. The rates of this type of split has been rising over the past few years in the U.S. Though divorce at any age is challenging, it can come with unique challenges when happening later in life.
Social security and retirement
One of the biggest life changes facing those in a grey divorce is retirement. Whether you have already settled into life out of the workforce or plan to in the next few years, retirement plans and social security are often top of mind. It can be difficult to know how to split these funds, especially when they are coming from the employment of one spouse.
Employment and spousal support
With many older, traditional couples, one spouse stays at home while the other works. However, if the couple splits, it can leave one party without any income before retirement. While some may be able to reenter the workforce as necessary, this situation may also lead to discussions of spousal support payments.
Like retirement and financial support, insurance is often tied to employment. Health insurance can be a pressing issue as medical needs become greater with age. Couples may also need to change the beneficiaries on their life insurance plans to reflect a split.
With many years of marriage comes a growing estate. Asset division of larger, more complicated estates can be time-consuming and difficult to divide.
Inheritances and estate plans
Couples may also need to reassess their estate plans and the inheritances left for children, especially if they must sell assets to pay for divorce proceedings or if there are blended families involved.
Every divorce is different, and each couple faces unique challenges. However, the factors impacting divorce may change as couples enter different stages of life. It can be helpful to approach a split with an understanding of what considerations may need to be involved.