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What should I consider in a gray divorce?

After you get married, your life goes through many stages. As you age, you and your partner’s goals do not always follow the same path.

You may not have entered your marriage intending to get divorced, but as you and your partner have gotten older, it may be something you start to think about.

Here’s what you should think about if you are considering a divorce in your later years.

What is a gray divorce?

Gray divorce was initially named for the color of the older generation’s hair and referred to senior citizens seeking a divorce after a long marriage. While gray divorce is still typically associated with an older generation, it commonly refers primarily to the age of the parties regardless of how short or long the marriage may have been.

There are many factors to consider when getting a divorce, but parting ways in your later years has unique aspects, such as:

  • A person nearing or past retirement age has limited ability to financially rebuild from the effects of a divorce
  • Health concerns may be significant
  • A breadwinner nearing the end of his or her career may not have the means to pay long-term spousal support

When deciding if a gray divorce is the right choice, it is essential to consider its impact on you and your goals.

What are your goals for after your divorce?

Marriage is a partnership. When you reach a point where you and your partner can no longer work together to enjoy life, it may be time to reconsider the marriage. As you and your partner look toward your retirement years, you may find that your goals have drastically changed since you got married.

As you think about what you want for the future, consider whether that is still possible within your current marriage or if it is time to part ways. It is one thing to have different goals and hobbies; it is quite another when one person’s goals will keep the other from enjoying theirs.

Financing the future

One of the most significant considerations in a gray divorce is finances. You and your partner may already be living off of retirement savings or might be planning to do so in the near future.

Depending on when the retirement benefits were accumulated, those retirement benefits may or may not be subject to division if you divorce.

It can be helpful for your mental health to move on from a problematic relationship. Still, it is also essential to evaluate the impact divorce will have on your future. As you consider moving ahead with a gray divorce, you may want to develop a plan that will ensure your long-term well-being.

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