Ending a marriage can be difficult at any time in your life. But divorcing after the age of 50, known as a “gray divorce,” presents unique challenges for older adults. After spending many years as a spouse, it can be particularly overwhelming to begin a new chapter of your life on your own.
Aging brings different financial concerns, as many adults consider retirement, long-term care costs, social security, and increased medical expenses.
When an older couple divorces, it adds an additional financial burden as expenses that were once shared expenses become the responsibility of each spouse. Living expenses, home or renters’ insurance, automobile insurance, and utility costs are paid individually, and that can be quite a shock to those couples after years of sharing expenses.
Spend time organizing your finances—tally your savings and retirement accounts, estimate your cost of living, value your home and property, and assess your debts. Consider any impact that divorce will have on your health insurance and social security benefits. Taking these steps now will provide a clear understanding of your financial picture and help guide you through the process of property division and budget planning for this new phase of life.
Divorce is emotional at any age. But for couples over the age of 50 who end a marriage and a shared life after many years together, the emotional impact can be significant.
Prioritize your emotional and physical well-being during this time of transition. Surround yourself with friends and loved ones who will provide emotional support, or seek out a support group for adults embarking on a similar journey. To be sure that your interests are protected and you receive a fair divorce settlement, speak with an experienced family law attorney.