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Springfield Divorce Attorneys > Blog > Divorce > Gray Divorce: Keep Your Eye on the Realities

Gray Divorce: Keep Your Eye on the Realities


Divorce rates for older Americans have been soaring since the early 90’s, doubling for those over 55, and tripling for those over 65.  While there are plenty of reasons to get out of an unhappy marriage, you should do so with a clear view of what’s ahead.

Some Unpleasant Outcomes 

Research indicates that men can typically expect to see a decline in their standard of living to the tune of 21 percent, whereas women’s standard of living plummets by 45 percent. Wealth declines by half for both partners.

Plans for Retirement? 

If you’ve had to split up your retirement account, you may have to delay the day you retire. That’s because you have to use that nest egg to pay for a new home, legal bills, or even health insurance. Meanwhile, you’ll want to double down on payments into your retirement savings, maxing out the deposits if at all possible. Catching up with those savings will give you more flexibility down the road.

Going Back to Work 

For partners who have been at home raising a family for years, the thought of entering the workforce can be daunting. But it may be necessary, even when homemakers downsize and reduce their budgets.

Is Your Home an Asset or a Weight? 

The person who winds up with the marital home will likely also inherit the taxes, mortgage, insurance, and maintenance. Refinancing could mean a significantly higher interest rate. Selling could result in a loss of equity if the market is in a slump. So will you fight to keep the house or be anxious to unload it?

Other Costs 

Will insurance be a new expense? How about transportation? And something that often gets overlooked is time.  If there are still children at home, only one parent will be there to take care of the nutritional, educational, and social demands of those kids. Finally, the social costs can be particularly devastating to couples who have shared friends or regular outings with other couples.  Who gets to keep the friends? Who, if anyone, will continue the weekend outings with other couples who have been in your circle for years?

At Least You’ll be Free of Your Spouse—Maybe Not

 If the thought of never having to interact with your spouse again makes the costs of divorce seem worthwhile, remember that if you have shared children, your ex may never truly be out of your life.  Even if you are past the days of shared custody, older children will probably want to maintain a relationship with both of their parents.  That means you’ll be interacting at graduations, weddings, and maybe even holidays. You may be sharing grandchildren one day, with the soccer games and other milestones that come with that.

It’s Complicated 

Gray divorce definitely has some complexity that can seem frightening. But if you are considering a split later in life, it can be done.  It’s up to you to take care of yourself and your kids, to be assertive yet composed, and to create the life you want. At Courtney & Mills, our experienced Springfield divorce attorneys are prepared to fight for the best possible outcomes for you. Schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.

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