Gray Divorce: Navigating a Marital Split after Retirement

Gray Divorce: Navigating a Marital Split after Retirement“Gray divorce” is a term for divorcing couples aged 50 and older. Typically, these are retired, affluent couples with self-sufficient adult children and significant assets. With the baby boomer population living longer, more older couples are divorcing and starting off on new life journeys.

The divorce rate for people over 50 has doubled since the 1990s, according to research by the Pew Center. Further, for those over 65, that rate has tripled. Gray divorces may also be second or third marriages, which can make a divorce more complicated and necessitate a more detailed settlement than a traditional divorce.

You may face several challenges when divorcing later in life, but an experienced divorce attorney can help you work through important issues like:

  • Estate plans
  • Future of family-owned businesses
  • Life and health insurance coverage
  • Retirement/pension benefits
  • Social Security benefits
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Tax concerns
  • What to do with the family home, vacation home, etc.

The AARP also offers a “gray divorce” checklist for those considering ending their marriage. Some important things from their list include:

  • Get copies of tax returns, numbers of all your bank, retirement, savings and other financial accounts
  • Get a list of all brokerage accounts and holdings
  • Talk to a real estate agent about how much your home(s) is worth
  • Find out whose name is on the vehicle titles
  • Check your and your spouse’s credit reports
  • Check and change the beneficiaries on any life insurance policies if necessary
  • Check and change your will if necessary
  • Find out what health insurance options are available to you post-divorce

Your attorney can help you with these documents, which will all build a picture of your finances and future, post-divorce – and help devise the best settlement for your personal needs.

Often, collaborative divorce is an alternative way to divorce that keeps you and your spouse out of the courtroom, and allows you to settle your disputes in a less contentious manner. You, your spouse, and your respective attorneys work together and confidentially to come up with a mutually agreeable divorce settlement.

If you are considering re-marrying after a gray divorce, you should also strongly consider a prenuptial agreement. You and your new partner likely have considerable assets, and having a legal document in place before marriage can ensure that asset and property division go as planned in the event of a divorce or death.

We understand the emotions and turmoil surrounding a divorce, no matter what your age. You may be concerned for your financial future, but the family law attorneys at the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm are here to protect it. To set up a consultation, call us today at 254-680-4655, or visit our contact page. We are here to serve you from our offices in Killeen and Copperas Cove.