Key Considerations In Gray Divorce

On behalf of Peterson, Berk & Cross, S.C.

The term “gray divorce” refers to the growing trend of older adults that choose to end their marriage. Gray divorce differs from other divorce scenarios in a few key ways, so it’s important to consider these factors as you navigate your split.

How Will Retirement Be Affected By My Divorce?

Divorcing after age 50 can have a significant impact on your retirement plans, as the assets and income that you were counting on to support you in retirement may be divided between you and your ex-spouse. It is critical that you work with an attorney and/or financial planner to ensure that you can maintain financial security after the divorce.

If you and your spouse have retirement savings (such as 401(k)s or IRAs), those assets could be split in a divorce settlement. This could mean that you have less saved for retirement than you had planned, and you may need to adjust your retirement goals accordingly. If you or your ex-spouse has a pension plan, the benefits earned during the marriage may be considered marital property and could also be subject to division in the divorce.

How Will Our Grown Children React?

If you have grown children, they may need some time to adjust to the idea of their parents getting divorced. Even though they are adults, your children may still feel a sense of loss or grief when you get divorced. They may also feel like they need to take sides or support one parent over the other, which can be emotionally stressful for all involved.

Divorce will inherently change the dynamics of your family, which could impact relationships between siblings or with other relatives. Your children may also need to adjust to new living arrangements or changes in holiday traditions. Find time to sit down with your spouse and your children to discuss the changing dynamics.

Who Will Get The House?

The division of marital property, including the family home, depends on state laws and the specific circumstances of your divorce. With the help of a skilled family law attorney, you may choose to sell the house and divide the proceeds or one spouse may buy out the other spouse’s share. In rare cases, some couples may agree to continue co-owning the family house, even after the divorce has been finalized. Ultimately, the decision is between you, your spouse, and your respective attorneys.

Am I Emotionally Prepared For Divorce?

A gray divorce can be emotionally challenging, even if it’s amicable. Give yourself the space you need to process the emotional fallout that comes with ending a long-term relationship. Allow yourself to grieve the loss of your marriage as you adjust to this new chapter in your life. Make sure you schedule time for activities that make you happy and help you relax. This might include exercise, reading, spending time with friends or family, or anything else that brings you joy.

Start Writing The Next Chapter Of Your Life With The Help Of A Wisconsin Divorce Attorney

Gray divorce can be emotionally and logistically complex, but it’s important to remember that there are resources available to help you navigate the process. Enlisting the help of an experienced divorce lawyer and/or mediator can alleviate much of the stress associated with gray divorce.