Gray divorce and the financial future of older divorcees

Divorce will bring significant financial changes for both parties, particularly older adults. Gray divorce, which is divorce between two people age 50 and up, is on the rise, which means more people could be facing an uncertain financial future. Divorce later in life can leave a person with a precarious financial future, but there are ways a person can protect his or her interests.

One of the most critical issues in any gray divorce is the matter of retirement. If you are facing the prospect of ending your marriage while you are also coming upon your golden years, it is in your interests to know how you can still pursue a strong financial future. While your plans may have to change or you may have to adjust expectations, it is still possible to have security and stability long-term.

Important factors to consider

Often, people reach a point where they realize they still have a lot of life left in front of them, the children are grown and out of the house, and they want a fresh start. Longer life expectancy is likely one of the leading reasons why people are choosing gray divorce more often.

It's normal to feel angry, scared and unsure during your divorce. However, allowing those feelings to determine how you make decisions will not lead to a final order that is fair and sustainable. When navigating a gray divorce, it is crucial for a person to consider how his or her choices will impact the future. In addition to your retirement savings, other important financial issues to consider during this time include:

  • Alimony – If you have a rightful claim to spousal support, you may want to make sure you get the full amount you need and deserve. You may also want to consider negotiating a lower amount of support in lieu of retirement savings or for another beneficial arrangement.
  • Property division – In addition to your retirement savings, you and your spouse will also have to decide what to do with the family home, assets, other accounts and a range of personal property.
  • Social security – It may also be possible to claim Social Security benefits from your spouse's earnings. This will depend on how long you were married and other qualifications. 

The financial issues of a gray divorce are complicated. In order to secure terms that ensure your security and stability in the future, you may want to work with an experienced San Diego attorney who will advocate for your rights and interests.

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