For years, the general population associated divorce with younger couples. People assumed couples that were together for decades had figured out a way to make it work. However, there has been a sharp increase in the number of older couples who have passed the age of 50 divorcing, a phenomenon known as gray divorce.
Numerous issues come into play when couples who are 50 or older divorce. It comes with numerous health risks, and many older individuals who divorce end up suffering from insomnia and other issues. That is only the beginning. Here are some of the most common issues older people face in gray divorce:
Determining the standards of alimony
In practically all divorces, one spouse will need to pay the other alimony. The spouse who earns more money will need to be completely upfront about how much money he or she makes. For older individuals, there may be many more sources of income than for people in their 20s. Older couples need to consider bonuses, stock options, executive compensation packages, ownership stakes, travel perks and car allowances in addition to their base salary.
Dividing retirement accounts and pension plans
One of the most difficult items a couple can divide is a pension plan. Many state and federal governmental agencies still offer pensions, but far more companies these days provide 401(k)s. It can be difficult to determine the overall value of a pension plan because it does not have a set value. Both spouses and their legal teams will need to work together to come up with an equitable division of assets.
Figuring out how to pay for children's college funds
Your kids may be out of the house, but they may still work toward their college degrees. Both parents need to reach a consensus regarding who will pay for the kids' education. This may involve one or both spouses dipping into their retirement accounts.