When you are young and idealistic, it is easy to imagine overcoming any obstacle with your spouse. As you spend years together, you may develop a more realistic perspective. For example, you may have to accept certain behaviors because you realize that your spouse will never change.
On the other hand, you may eventually accept that your relationship is no longer a source of positive support for the two of you and that a divorce might be the best option. Especially when you are near or past the age of retirement and have spent many years with your spouse, the upcoming changes to your family can be very disruptive.
What special considerations must you address as you plan for a divorce later in life?
Your need financial resources for during retirement
Retirement accounts are frequently one of the most pressing concerns in divorces that occur later in life, which some people call gray divorces. You have likely saved money for years while planning for retirement, but what you set aside and your budget reflect you sharing a home with your spouse and having both of your resources available. Divorcing will mean dividing retirement savings and potentially accepting a reduced standard of living in some cases.
Adult children often handle divorce poorly
Many parents mistakenly believe that children’s emotional response to divorce dulls as they grow older. Adult children are just as likely as teenagers or grade schoolers to experience intense negative reactions to the news of a parental divorce.
Unlike younger children, you won’t be able to force your adult children to spend time with both parents. Sometimes, divorce will be lasting damage to your relationship with your children.
Your plans will almost certainly need to change
Did you always want to do a three-month tour of Europe or an Alaskan cruise after you retire? Were you planning to continue living in a home by yourself indefinitely?
Especially for those with a relatively comfortable standard of living, divorces later in life often mean that they have to make some compromises regarding their expectations during retirement. Alternately, some people choose to work longer than they originally planned so that they can maintain the same standard of living that they always dreamed of during their retirement.
While there are certainly challenges that you will have to overcome during the divorce process, the result will be a future where you finally get to do what you want. Moving on from an unhappy marriage by pursuing a gray divorce will mean that you have a safe, stable and pleasant retirement.