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Facing a Gray Divorce? Be Aware of These 4 Crucial Issues

Divorce at any age can be extremely difficult. Yet gray divorces — a term usually used to define a divorce with a couple over the age of 50 — comes with its own challenges. While children are often grown up and living on their own by this time, there are other unique issues that impact older divorcees. Read on to learn about four critical issues with gray divorces, and contact Financial Sherpa for help managing your pre-divorce, the gray divorce process, and post-divorce finances in Connecticut.

Did you know?

Another name for divorcees over the age of 50 is “empty nesters.” Lots of people delay divorce to avoid the disturbance of their kids. Common causes of divorces later in life are downsizing, changing lifestyles, changes in finances, and family home changes.


#1: Ask Yourself Key Questions

There are a number of questions you should ask yourself before beginning a gray divorce. You should be extremely clear and honest with yourself about why you are doing this. Not coming from a place of reaction and thinking about what your future will hold are crucial. Ask yourself the following questions to help you gain clarity and certainty that this is the right decision:

  1. What do I gain if I leave?

  2. What do I lose if I leave?

  3. What do I hope happens next? (best case/worst case)

There are also financial questions that are worth considering. How will you support yourself financially? Are you willing to pay spousal support? Of course, your personal feelings, goals, and health are top priority. It’s all about taking personal inventory and weighing your options.

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#2: How Will It Impact Your Children?

Perhaps your children are already grown up and living on their own, so questions about child support are not going to come into play. However, sometimes a divorce can be even more difficult for children after they have left the home, than if they were still young dependents. The reason for this is that, with younger children, you are more present with them after the divorce and can support them and their wellbeing more directly. Kids who are out of the house are less likely to have such support, and, for some of them, it can be harder on them, even though they are older. Consider how your divorce will impact those you love as well as yourself.

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#3: The Financial Toll

Getting divorced later in life comes with some unique challenges, in particular when it comes to your financial status. If you are a wealthy family, the threat of poverty is never really on the table for either party of a senior divorce. However, when you aren’t in a rich family, figuring out the financial aspects can be more difficult. When someone has spent 20 or more years trusting their partner to handle the finances, a divorce can be devastating, as it dissolves that financial partnership, potentially leaving one or both parties in a much more difficult financial situation.


#4: The Social Toll

Another challenge that comes with a gray divorce is its toll on your social life. You probably have had the same acquaintances and friends for a long time, and you and your partner share them. If the divorce is messy, or even if it’s not, your friends may feel the need to choose one or the other of you, or neither, going forward. It’s not them being mean, but just trying to avoid drama. It is also generally more difficult to meet new people when you are old and more established than when you are young and more flexible.

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Divorces can be messy. However, if you are willing to go forward with a gray divorce, with clarity and strong intent, Financial Sherpa can help. Our divorce attorneys help guide you into making sound decisions based on your situation. With the help of a financial divorce consultant, you can make it through the senior divorce process knowing that you have prepared yourself for a better financial future.

If you are in Connecticut, contact Financial Sherpa today schedule a divorce consultation