Any divorce has the potential to be incredibly disruptive for the people ending their marriage, but gray divorces can be particularly complex. A gray divorce or silver splitter is the common name for a divorce between people who have remained married for decades and are close to or past the age of retirement.
There are numerous elements that can complicate the divorce process when an older couple with a long-term marriage called it quits. What are some of the unique considerations that impact gray divorces?
Most of your assets will be marital property
Couples who have only stayed married for a few years usually have a relatively straightforward divorce. They may share only some of their property, making it easy to split everything in the divorce.
A divorce after a long-term marriage can be particularly challenging. Everything from your home to your savings account will likely be marital property that you have to split with your ex.
Your kids are likely to be very upset
Most people think that divorce is hardest when their children are young. While you will likely see more of their emotional reactions when they are young, that does not mean divorce it’s easier for your children just because they are adults themselves. In fact, research indicates that the opposite is true.
Adult children whose parents divorce often have intense emotional responses to the parental separation and may take sides with one parent, potentially even cutting the other out of their lives.
You have to worry about retirement funds
Splitting a pension or retirement is a big concern in the average divorce. The closer you are to retirement age, the bigger the risk of leaving yourself without enough resources.
You may find that you don’t have enough in your retirement accounts to ensure the same standard of living, or you may need to how to make your retirement savings with a social security claim. A dependent spouse might even need to make a claim against their ex’s Social Security benefits. You may need to change your plans for retirement, possibly by eliminating some of your travel plans or choosing to continue to work for a few years.
Protecting yourself from the worse impact of a divorce later in life will help you make the most of your golden years.