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Financial challenges involved with a gray divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2023 | Family Law

South Carolina couples who decide to divorce after reaching the age of 50 face unique issues that younger divorcing couples might not have to deal with. When a couple has been married for years and has accumulated substantial assets during their marriage, the division of assets can be more complex. Divorcing close to retirement age can also mean that the estranged spouses might need to take additional steps to protect their ability to retire comfortably and on time.

Unique challenges involved with gray divorce

Marital splits between couples who are later in years are commonly called gray divorces. The divorce rate among couples ages 50 and over has doubled since 1990, and it has tripled among those ages 65 and above. For divorcing couples in their 50s, they might have to contend with career demands or not having been in the workforce for a long time coupled with paying for their children’s college education. Spouses might also have retirement accounts, property, and businesses that might need to be divided or have significant levels of debt. Couples who are 65 or older might have reduced incomes and have to deal with what their divorces might mean with their standard of living in retirement, and some might have to return to work to make ends meet.

Financial impacts of gray divorce

When older couples choose to divorce, many might not have adequate retirement savings and be forced to divide the small amounts they have accumulated. Women who have remained at home to raise the children might struggle to re-enter the workforce after spending years away. At older ages, it might not be possible for lower-earning or non-earning spouses to obtain training and education that will allow them to gain financial independence. Depending on their situation, some older divorced spouses might not be able to afford to retire and might have to continue working long into their golden years.

Getting divorced at an older age might require people to take additional steps to protect themselves and their futures. Because of the unique challenges involved with gray divorce, these types of cases might be more complex than divorces between younger couples.