Gray divorces, a term that refers to those that take place after the couple is 50 years or older, have risen sharply in the last few decades. According to researchers from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, the number of gray divorces doubled between 1990 and 2014. For those who were over 65, the rate of divorce rose even more sharply.
Divorcing late in life has some financial consequences that aren’t normally felt when someone is younger. While child support isn’t likely to be a major issue, retirement and alimony can be very contentious topics. Individuals who are fairly close to retirement will have a limited amount of time to replenish retirement accounts.
People may discover that they need to drastically change their expectations for retirement. This often involves pushing their retirement date back and working longer or returning to the workforce. Further, individuals may need to downsize their living expenses by selling their home or moving to an area with a lower cost of living. If people don’t make these types of adjustments, they may discover that their reduced retirement savings aren’t sufficient to last them for the rest of their life.
Whatever the age of people who are facing the end of a marriage, it’s important to understand how the law decides issues related to the process. Judges often have a significant amount of discretion when it comes to ruling on these matters. As a result, many couples prefer to enlist the help of their respective attorneys when trying to negotiate a comprehensive settlement agreement rather than having a judge make these decisions.