Going through a divorce at any age can be emotionally and financially challenging, but older couples face unique complexities and obstacles as they dissolve their marriage. This is often referred to as a “gray divorce” – one that involves couples who are 50 years of age or older. As the couple navigates the emotional, financial, and legal aspects of divorce, they will likely encounter one or more of the following challenges. Since couples between the ages of 50 to 64 currently have the highest rate of divorce in the U.S., it is important to be aware of all potential challenges before filing.

Financial Uncertainty

The financial impact of divorce can affect anyone, but is often a primary concern for couples involved in a gray divorce, especially if the couple has been married for many years. They may have spent decades together, building retirement savings, investments, properties, and other joint assets. The division of the marital estate – and the distribution of these assets – can be complex, especially when addressing pensions and retirement funds.

Gray divorce can have a serious impact on retirement plans and may require reevaluating those plans, adjusting expectations, and setting new goals.

There is also the cost of establishing separate households and managing expenses on a single-income household instead of two incomes. This can cause financial strain, particularly on a spouse who may have been a lower wage earner than the other.

Emotional Adjustment

Ending a long-term marriage can also be emotionally challenging for older couples. They often have shared a significant portion of their lives together, and the prospect of starting over can be overwhelming, if not frightening. It is also common to have to deal with and process feelings of anxiety, grief, and loneliness.

There are also issues that come up if the couple has adult children and grandchildren and how the divorce will affect them, such as how family holidays will now be spent.

Social Networks

Married couples over 50 often have well-established social networks that revolve around mutual friends and shared activities. Divorce can disrupt these connections and leave individuals feeling isolated or feeling like a “third wheel” during social gatherings. Another issue that often comes up is that friends may feel compelled to choose sides, and that can strain relationships even further.

Rebuilding social networks and finding new sources of support are crucial for emotional well-being. Joining community groups, participating in hobbies, or seeking out support networks specifically designed for divorced individuals can help regain a sense of belonging and social connection.

Contact a Texas Divorce Lawyer

If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, make sure you have a skilled Dallas, TX gray divorce attorney advocating for you and ensuring your financial future is protected. Call Clark Law Group at 469-765-3910 to schedule a confidential consultation and find out how we can help.

Sources: https://www.forbes.com/sites/heatherlocus/2021/08/12/straight-talk-on-gray-divorce–preparing-to-go-it-alone-after-50/?sh=c51709336f92 & https://psychcentral.com/health/the-myth-of-the-high-rate-of-divorce