Divorcing over 50: What to know about a gray divorce

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2022 | Divorce

As an older person, thinking about getting a divorce can be a frustrating conundrum. On one hand, you may feel that you cannot live with your spouse any longer and want to move on. On the other, you have your finances mixed up together, and you’re not sure how you can manage on your own.

If you’re considering divorce over 50, then you may be getting ready to take part in a gray divorce. A gray divorce has to take into consideration financial issues as well as others that you may come across, like long-term care planning or Medicaid concerns, retirement issues or problems with adult dependents.

Fortunately, gray divorces are common enough that there are good protections in place and methods for helping you separate your assets.

Why do gray divorces happen?

Gray divorces are generally more deliberate splits. Sometimes, they happen later in life because two parents were waiting for their kids to grow up and leave the nest. Other times, they might have been hoping to wait until retirement or just determined that living together is no longer an option.

Keep in mind that people do re-evaluate their relationships nearly every moment of every day. What was just dissatisfying yesterday could become a deal breaker today without the right approach to resolve conflicts.

If you want to get a gray divorce, what do you have to worry about?

There are some general topics that come up during gray divorces that you will need to cover, too. These include topics such as:

  • What happens to your retirement accounts.
  • Who gets Social Security payments, and if there is any division of those payment.
  • How to manage custody of an adult dependent, such as a child with special needs.
  • What to do with the family home or other real estate.
  • How to manage large portfolios of assets.

Gray divorces can be easier in some ways, such as by not always having to deal with child custody or support, but they can be more difficult in others. It’s valuable to learn about your state’s approach to divorce and then to begin working through the topics that affect you and your spouse.