Some people assume that people who have been married for decades aren’t going to call it quits. It may shock them to know that grey divorce, which is divorce among older adults, is very common.
There are several key things that typically need to be be considered in a grey divorce. Understanding these may help you if you’re ending your marriage in your 50s or older.
Retirement accounts typically must be divided
Unless there are two retirement accounts that are relatively equal, you’ll have to go through the process of dividing them. You will likely need a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) for assets in employer-sponsored retirement plans to minimize tax penalties. This order tells the plan administrator what to do about the split and may remove penalties for the split.
New financial plans might be necessary
Most couples set up retirement accounts so they’ll have enough money to support one household. The divorce means that those same accounts now have to support two households. It’s possible that some individuals who go through a grey divorce will have to decide to either go back into the workforce or lower their standard of living.
Adult children might take the news hard
One aspect of a grey divorce that can be challenging is telling the kids. Adult children have likely lived their entire lives knowing you and your spouse as a married couple. Even though they’re older, this is still a big transition for them.
Ending a lengthy marriage can be emotionally challenging, but you can’t let emotions rule the decisions you make. Be sure to think of everything logically so you can make the best decisions for yourself as you begin this new chapter of your life. Having experienced legal guidance helps.