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What should people expect when planning for a gray divorce?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | Divorce

Long-lasting marriage can have a major impact on someone’s standard of living. Spouses who combine their resources and efforts during marriage can accumulate a substantial marital estate and various valuable personal assets. The longer a marriage lasts, the more difficult it can be to separate the resources of the spouses. During divorce, that is exactly what needs to happen. Spouses have to find a way of dividing their property with one another. In some scenarios, there may also be spousal support or alimony to consider.

Typically, those preparing for a gray divorce or a divorce after the age of 50 do not have to worry about the custody of minor children. Still, the gray divorce process is fraught with many potential pitfalls. What should people consider when planning for a gray divorce?

The effect on their retirement plans

One of the biggest concerns during a divorce later in life is the potential economic impact that the end of the marriage and the division of assets could have on someone’s financial circumstances. Spouses often need to share retirement resources and other assets when they divide their marital property. The lower-earning or dependent spouse can often qualify for both Medicare and Social Security retirement benefits if the marriage lasted for at least 10 years. They can also seek spousal support in some cases. People may need to re-budget for their retirements and rework their plans, including changing their living arrangements and travel expectations.

The best outcome for property division

After attempting to establish realistic goals for retirement, people can then focus on funding those plans through the property division process. It is common for those close to retirement age to become quite emotional at the prospect of losing a significant amount of their marital estate. Instead of fighting intensely over each detail, is often a more effective strategy to establish clear priorities. Doing so allows an individual to respond calmly to suggestions and to reduce the degree of conflict that arises during the divorce. Spouses who are able to pursue a less acrimonious divorce can often minimize what they pay to end a marriage and can potentially retain control over the final terms set.

Preparing carefully for divorce instead of rushing in and making emotional decisions can often lead to the best outcome possible during a gray divorce. People who prepare before filing paperwork or negotiating can remain focused on their long-term priorities instead of their immediate feelings.

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