Gray divorce is the term used for the dissolution of a long-term marriage between older people. This phenomenon has been occurring with greater frequency in recent years.
According to Forbes, here are some things for you to consider about a gray divorce.
There can be significant assets
By the time you are in your later years, you and your spouse may have acquired significant assets. Unlike younger divorcing couples who are usually primarily concerned with child custody and support, those in a gray divorce may be in the enviable position of having a substantial amount of wealth. Things you may need to divide or sell might include:
- Your primary residence and any vacation homes
- Investment properties
- Valuable artwork or jewelry
- Luxury automobiles or boats
- Investment accounts
Often, there are emotional attachments to some of these assets that can make their division difficult. And, without a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it may be difficult to determine after such a long time what is marital vs. separate property.
There are financial considerations
In a gray divorce, there may be different financial considerations as you near or are in retirement. For example, if during your marriage you or your spouse was the primary or sole breadwinner, you probably had one family health insurance policy. Once you are no longer married, that insurance ends right away for the nonpolicy-holding spouse. It then becomes a significant expense for you or your ex to acquire a new policy. However, since medical needs increase as people age, it is vital to do so.
And, there are ramifications for retirement benefits such as pensions and Social Security. If you now must split proceeds with your ex, this may impact the amount of monthly income you had imagined during your retirement.