Recent data shows one out of every four couples going through a divorce is over the age of fifty. This has become so common it has its own name: the gray divorce.
While many couples state they were simply waiting for the children to begin their own, adult lives before moving forward with a divorce, reasons for later in life divorces vary. Whatever the reason for the divorce, the fact that the stigma of divorce has greatly decreased in recent years paired with the Baby Boomer generation’s expectation that relationships be fulfilling, not just an expected partnership has led to an increase in the divorce rate amongst couples over the age of fifty.
Those who find themselves in this situation are wise to ask the following before moving forward with the divorce:
- Have you attempted to rehabilitate your marriage? It is wise to put some effort into reconciliation. This can involve attempts to reconnect with your spouse or formalized counseling.
- Do you have everything you need to move forward with the divorce? Gather copies of financial documents including information about real estate holdings, investments and business interests. This will ease the property distribution determination portion of the divorce proceeding.
- Have you considered retirement assets? Make sure to have information about all retirement assets. In most cases, retirement assets accumulated during the divorce are subject to division.
Although divorce after the age of fifty generally does not involve lengthy child custody issues, some may have children that are still minors. In these situations, it is also wise to consider how the divorce will impact parenting rolls in the future.
Those who find themselves navigating these questions do not have to go through the process alone. You can protect your interests and better ensure a smooth transition into post-divorce life by seeking legal counsel.