What You Need to Know About Grey Divorce

Senior couple at home. Handsome old man and attractive old woman are having relationship problems. Sitting on sofa together while quarrel.

Whether you want to call them grey divorces, silver divorces, or diamond divorces, baby boomers are now dissolving their marriages in record numbers.

And if you’re one of them, you may be wondering how your divorce will differ from the divorce of a younger couple. Here’s what you need to know.

You’ll have a smaller retirement fund no matter what.

Financial Advisor Magazine calls grey divorce a “retirement train wreck.” No matter what equitable distribution looks like in your case, there is a good chance it will not look like the same future where your retirement fund is flush with cash and ready to carry you through the rest of your golden years.

Divorcing now may mean working longer, or accepting a lower standard of living in your retirement years. Of course, you may not have much of a choice if your spouse is the one initiating the proceeding.

Spousal support is much more likely to be a factor.

Baby Boomers are much more likely to have an arrangement where one spouse, usually the wife, served as homemaker for the length of the marriage. It is much harder for seniors to launch new careers, and the court takes this into account.

If you’re in this position asking for lifelong is often reasonable and expected. Early retirement on the part of the higher-earning spouse will not necessarily stop this.

You may not have to talk about custody, but your kids may still enter the equation.

Grey divorcees are free from co-parenting schedules, child support payments, and custody arguments. But if you had visions of setting up trusts for the kids or leaving certain inheritances, you’ll need to be careful about how you construct your divorce agreement.

And believe it or not, it still impacts the kids emotionally.

The family home may be paid off, but still might not be worth it.

Taking the home when you could have a higher alimony payment or a greater share of retirement savings isn’t the best idea. Homes still come with expenses, like taxes and upkeep.

It may be better for you both to just sell the home, split the proceeds, and use them to start over in a newer, smaller, easier place.

All the same best practices apply.

Seniors use social media too, and you still want to make sure you don’t say anything to tank your case. Seniors date too, and you still don’t want to find a new boyfriend or girlfriend right in the middle of your divorce.

You’ll definitely need a lawyer to help you navigate the entire process, especially if your assets and liabilities are complex (which they’re more likely to be since you’ve had more time to build your life).

Got questions? Why not schedule a free consultation today?

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