It's easy to assume that divorcing later in life is easier than splitting up earlier. While these older individuals usually don't have to worry about things like child custody, it can be very difficult to work through all the issues that have to be decided in a gray divorce.
What are the main challenges of a gray divorce? While each situation is different, there are two huge areas of concern:
Unlike younger individuals, people who divorce later in life don't have the time to make up for the financial hit that comes with divorce. The retirement accounts that were built to support one household will now have to be divided between the divorcing couple and support two households. Everything has to be split. Some individuals will find that they have to go back to work after the divorce or they will have to severely reduce their lifestyle. Carefully considering the terms of the property division agreement is crucial in these cases.
Changes in social dynamics
Older people who divorce might find it challenging to find their new social circle. For some, missing their ex's family might be a problem. It's also possible that the adult children of the divorcing individuals might have some emotional turmoil because of the divorce. Younger people often have an easier time finding new social circles, while older divorced people may struggle to find their “social safety net” a bit harder.
People who are going through a gray divorce should consider their options carefully. The more you understand about the potential challenges, the easier it will be to plan ahead.