"Gray divorce" refers to divorce among older Americans, and it is on the rise. Although divorce rates are dropping overall, among people 50 and older, the divorce rate is twice as high as it was in the 1990s.
There are a number of particular considerations for older people getting a divorce related to the fact that they have less time to save up for retirement. First, divorce for this age group can be expensive if the couple ends up fighting over assets. Unfortunately, in some cases, that fight may be necessary to secure a person's financial future after the divorce. However, in many cases, a couple might be able to use mediation to come to an agreement that works for both of them.
Splitting some assets, such as a 401(k) or other types of retirement accounts, can result in penalties although there are exceptions. Furthermore, taxes must be paid on withdrawals from some retirement accounts. This can significantly reduce the value of those assets.
People may have an emotional attachment to some assets such as a home. Some may be willing to give up other assets in order to keep the home. Unfortunately, upkeep on a home can be costly. However, selling the house may be expensive and difficult.
Adults older than 50 might still have issues of child support to deal with as well as financial issues. Even if their children are not minors, if they are students or have other expenses parents want to help with, this could be another part of the divorce agreement a couple needs to work out. Discussing the specifics of the financial situation with an attorney and taking costs such as taxes and home maintenance into account may help a person make better decisions about property division.