You imagine your retirement years as a relaxing period in your life. You will have more time to pursue hobbies, volunteer or even travel the world. You may also picture you and your spouse growing old together. However, for adults 50 years and older, divorce is becoming a more common reality.
Divorce rates for adults ages 50 and older have almost doubled since the 1990s. A person may get a divorce later in life to gain independence and follow their own path, but a gray divorce has additional issues which should be considered before embarking on the divorce process.
The risk of divorce for adults 50 years and older tends to be more common for those who have been married for a shorter time. According to the Pew Research Center, this is largely related to second marriages being less stable than first marriages. However, that is not to say a couple who is decades into their first and only marriage are immune to divorce.
Research has shown that many divorces which occur later in life are punctuated by the person’s desire to seek out new opportunities and pursue their own interests for the remainder of their years.
However, gray divorces are not without their own set of challenges. A divorced person at this stage of life can be less financially secure than other married or widowed adults. Living alone at an older age could have a negative impact on your financial comfort levels and social life.
A gray divorce could also endanger retirement funds, as you may be living on half of the income you expected to have at this point in your life. While gray divorces are generally free of the strain and stress of a custody battle, it can still be emotionally and financially draining.
If you are age 50 or older and considering a gray divorce, it is important to review all the factors and how they may impact the rest of your life. You may be worried about finances or how to support yourself. Before starting the divorce process at any age, speak with an attorney about potential outcomes and different scenarios which could happen.