Divorce can be difficult, no matter what age the spouses are when it happens. However, gray divorce brings its own set of challenges.
The term “gray divorce” refers to divorces that occur among couples who are over the age of 50 or who have been married for a long time. It has become more common in recent years due to longer life expectancy, spousal financial independence, changes in social norms and other factors.
Couples in a gray divorce may face challenges such as dividing assets accumulated over a long period of time, how to divide retirement and pension accounts and how their divorce may impact their family members, specifically adult children and grandchildren.
Dividing assets that have been accumulated over many years can be difficult and may require that the spouses seek assistance from financial advisors and tax professionals.
The spouses may also need to decide how healthcare costs will be addressed. If one or both spouses have health issues that may require long-term care, one may need more financial support to pay for it than the other spouse.
Outside of financial concerns, a gray divorce may have social impacts on the couple and their family. Adult children may feel obligated to choose one parent over the other, which can be difficult if they are close to both parents.
Gray divorce can also lead to social isolation if both spouses have friends and activities in common. There are resources available that can help spouses navigate a gray divorce.