Divorce is never easy. And it can be even more complicated if you’re older and have been married for a significant period of time. In these instances, often referred to as a gray divorce, you might find it challenging to cope with the emotional realities of untangling your life from the person you’ve spend decades with, while all the while your financial future may be riddled with uncertainty.
That’s why it might be best for you to seek out support and guidance as you try to figure out the best way to dissolve your marriage. Once you’re able to secure that assistance, you can focus on addressing the issues that are most important to you under your circumstances, which may include each of the following:
- Spousal support: Alimony can be a great way to find financial stability post-divorce, but you’re probably going to have to demonstrate that you’re entitled to it. To do so, you’ll have to gather and present evidence that shows how your career and income potential was affected by the sacrifices that you made for your family, how you supported your spouse in gaining an education or advancing their career and why you’ll need financial support moving forward. Depending on the circumstances, you may even be able to recover permanent alimony.
- Retirement accounts: These assets carry a lot of importance for your future. After all, your time to accumulate additional retirement funds may be limited, so you need to ensure that you’re securing your fair share of these assets so that you have a little bit of a cushion once you do leave the workforce.
- Social Security: These benefits may help supplement your retirement, especially if you were left without an adequate retirement amount once your divorce was finalized. Make sure that you understand how these benefits apply to you and how your spouse’s history of income affects your ability to secure these benefits.
- Insurance: As you get further along in life, your medical need are likely to increase. You’re even at a greater risk of needing long-term care. These expenses can quickly derail your financial stability, which is why you may want to make insurance coverage a part of your divorce discussions. By doing so, you may be able to find a satisfactory way to ensure that your long-term health care needs are met.
- Co-grandparenting: Although custody and visitation rights may not be immediately implicated in your divorce, your access to and the time that you spend with your grandchildren may be an ongoing problem. You’ll have to find an effective way to co-grandparent, which may be more difficult than you think. That’s why it may be helpful to hash those matters out during your divorce so that they don’t pop up later on when you don’t expect them.
What’s the best way to handle your gray divorce?
There’s no one approach to divorce that works for everyone. Instead, you need a strategy that is suited to you and your set of circumstances. That may include taking a less confrontational route, such as mediation, or it may involve litigating some issues that you and your spouse simply can’t agree on.
Regardless of which route you take, you need to know how best to approach the issues that you’re facing. We know this is an enormously stressful time for you, but that’ why we encourage you to consider seeking out help. By doing so, you may be able to reach a favorable outcome that puts you on solid footing as you start the next chapter of your life.