Protecting What Matters Most

What should you expect if you divorce later in life?

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2018 | Divorce

Have you heard the term “gray divorce”? It is used to describe couples who decide to divorce when they are in the later years of life. When something becomes so popular it is given its own name, it earns the right to be taken seriously. This is the case with gray divorce, where the divorce rate of people over 50 has almost doubled in the last two decades.

Older couples tend to have larger nest eggs, retirement funds and investments to worry about, without having the earning potential they once had to recoup those funds. If you are over 50 years old and considering divorce, here are a few concerns you may have and how they may affect your life once your divorce is finalized.


With a higher earning potential, alimony is usually not one of the biggest concerns for younger couples when filing for divorce. This is not the case for those over 50. If your marriage has lasted between 10 to 30 years, alimony payments will probably be part of your divorce. Especially if one spouse stayed at home to raise children and took care of the household while the other worked full-time.

Dividing retirement savings

If you have been married for most of the time that you have been collecting money for retirement, you can expect assets to be roughly divided in half during divorce. If you have been preparing for your retirement by depending on your shared retirement money, you should change your expectations to reflect only half that amount.

Your home

Is your home going to be too big for one person to live in since all the kids may have grown and moved out? More importantly, can you afford the house on just one income?

If one spouse decides to stay in the home, they will most likely need to give something up to balance out the other spouse’s share of the house. If economic factors make it unwise to remain in the home, consider selling the home and dividing the proceeds.

Your children

One positive aspect of gray divorce is that most times couples do not need to worry about child custody plans. However, this does not mean your divorce should not take your children into consideration.

For example, do you still provide financial support to your children? Will your divorce hamper the support you have normally supplied? Don’t forget the emotional toll divorce may have on your children. Just because they are older does not mean they will not be affected.

If you are considering divorce and you are over the age of 50, the above situations are only a few of the factors that may need to be addressed. You should speak with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through everything you may face during a divorce.


FindLaw Network