Regardless of the age of the spouses, a divorce brings many difficult changes to the table and forces both partners to navigate a variety of challenging decisions. A divorce may also result in financial hardships for both spouses as they re-establish their lives with completely altered financial futures ahead of them.
For spouses in their 50s, 60s or older, a divorce may bring about some unique issues to be addressed both during and after the divorce.
A growing trend of gray divorce
As a person’s hair often grays as they age, a divorce that occurs at a later stage of life is often referred to as a gray or silver divorce. According to Kiplinger, the United States has seen a significant jump in the number of gray divorces over the last couple of decades. Many factors may contribute to this trend, including the fact that more couples are getting married for a second or subsequent time. These remarriages may have a higher likelihood of ending in divorce than a first marriage. A remarried spouse may also be older by the time this happens, putting them in the category of gray divorce.
The unique issues of a gray divorce
Couples who divorce late in life may experience some issues that younger spouses do not. For example, Forbes explains that spousal benefits via Social Security may be important to research when undergoing a gray divorce. Adult children or grandchildren may also find it difficult to accept the divorce, adding to the overall emotional stress of the situation.
The loss of valuable retirement savings may force divorcing spouses to re-evaluate some of their post-retirement plans and even reconsider their living situation.