Approaching divorce is almost never an easy process. However, for those couples who have been together for decades or who are advanced in age, the process of dividing assets and debts can be particularly challenging. The possibilities associated with newly single life are increasingly appealing to older couples however, so a firm understanding of what "gray divorce" entails is essential to sound decision making for any couple considering a split.
On the positive side, divorcing after a significant number of years usually means that child custody matters are not at the forefront of these petitions. However, property disputes may be far more complex and heated than they would be among many younger couples, simply because an older and more established couple has had time to acquire more assets and build a more intertwined financial life.
In addition, retirement planning is often a more pressing issue for older couples. How pensions, 401K plans and mortgage debt are split among the pair will significantly impact each spouse's ability to retire comfortably and with dignity.
Thankfully, divorce may enable many individuals to again pursue their personal passions, or to do so for the first time. The key to navigating gray divorce with grace and remaining financially stable in the process is to view this transition as a new beginning and to have a firm grasp of the financial stakes inherent in your settlement dispute.
By retaining experienced counsel and understanding that your divorce settlement must reflect a clear financial plan for the future, you can turn a divorce from a longtime partner into a positive life step moving forward.
Source: Huffington Post, "Coping With A Grey Divorce," Lubov Stark, Nov. 20, 2012