Divorce is almost always a challenge, but every type differs. Take gray divorce. This is the term for when couples aged 50 or older decide to call it quits.
Gray divorce presents unique concerns distinct from separations involving younger people. Understanding the differences is a healthy first step toward a smooth split.
Longer marriages and more assets
Couples who part ways after several decades of marriage typically have a significant collection of assets. Youthful spouses rarely have robust financial portfolios they need to contend with. It can be a hefty task to divide shared investments and real estate.
Gray divorces often affect retirement plans, unlike divorces among those in lower age brackets. Aging soon-to-be exes may find it wise to reevaluate their retirement savings. Decisions about alimony and division of retirement funds can impact financial security in later years.
Another aspect of gray divorce is the potential for medical problems. As people age, the likelihood of physical ailments increases. A study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health finds that divorcees are 20% more prone to long-term health problems. Health insurance and planned caregiving are thus central issues.
Adult children and family dynamics
Unlike divorces involving parents with minor children, gray divorces often affect adult children. Grown sons and daughters may have strong opinions about the split and wish to meddle in the divorce process.
Gray divorce stands apart from other forms of divorce in significant ways. Tackling the relevant aspects requires paying attention to the specific needs of both parties.