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Five key financial issues in a gray divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Divorce

A gray divorce is a marriage dissolution that involves individuals aged 50 and older. These divorces are becoming more common, but that doesn’t make them any easier to navigate. Many individuals in these marriages have built their lives with their spouse, making it hard for them to find a way to separate themselves from what they’ve worked hard to accomplish.

While the emotional toll of ending a marriage later in life can be overwhelming, there are other issues that have to be addressed if you want to protect your future. Chief amongst them are the various financial issues that are unique to gray divorces and that you’ll have to navigate.

Key financial issues to pay attention to in your gray divorce

All divorces are financial transactions to a certain extent. But when you’re later in life, the stakes can be more significant. Here’s why:

  1. Retirement accounts might be split: Pursuant to Mississippi law, marital assets are supposed to be divided fairly. This means that you and your spouse will likely have to split your retirement assets. This can be problematic given your age and the limited amount of time you have to build up your retirement savings. You’ll want to take this into account as you try to negotiate a divorce resolution that works for you.
  2. Health insurance can be costly: If you’re on your spouse’s insurance plan, then your divorce means that at some point soon you’re going to have to seek out your own coverage. On the open market, this can be costly, quickly eating away at your post-divorce budget. Take this additional expense into account as you negotiate settlement or litigate your divorce.
  3. You might end up with more debt than you expected: While marital assets are supposed to be divided fairly, so are marital debts. Therefore, if you’re not careful in resolving your marriage dissolution, you could be left on the hook for debt that you didn’t expect and maybe even that you didn’t know about. These debts can be especially difficult to handle if you’re later in life and looking at retirement.
  4. You may not have time to build a career: If you sacrificed building a career to raise your family or support your spouse, then it’s probably going to be difficult for you to maintain your marital standard of living once your divorce is finalized. This is where alimony might come into play. If you think that you’re going to face employment issues and corresponding financial woes, then you should consider seeking spousal support through your divorce.
  5. You might need additional support: Property division and spousal support can give you some relief, but you shouldn’t overlook other types of support to which you may be entitled in your divorce. Specifically, look at your spouse’s pensions and Social Security benefits to see if you can legitimately lay claim to some portion of them. If so, you can acquire the additional support that you may require in your time of need.

Develop a plan that allows you to confidently navigate your gray divorce

With your financial future on the line, you owe it to yourself to build a compelling divorce legal strategy targeted at protecting your future. We know that can be stressful to think about, particularly when you’re just trying to gain your bearings, address your emotional turmoil, and figure out a plan for the future, but you don’t have to try to navigate your divorce on your own. Seek out the support you need to confidently get through the process so that you can come out on the other side stronger and ready to embrace the next chapter of your life.