Over the years, grey divorce has risen steadily. This is a term that refers generally to any divorce that occurs between couples in their 50s or older. Experts have an interest in studying this phenomenon and what it means for the aging population.
But what does it mean for you on a personal level? Many grey divorcees enjoy their life after divorce, but also warn that their fellows might face unique hurdles that younger couples do not even think about.
Why is it on the rise?
Forbes discusses the rise of grey divorce in recent years. Experts speculate that many reasons contribute to this trend, including the extension of the average lifespan and human health as the population ages. In addition, many couples in their 50s face less stigma for divorce than they might have at a younger age. This combination may prompt couples to split ties, especially after children leave the house. This is a prime time where partners realize that they lost their spark and cannot rekindle it.
Assets, retirement and more
But for all the benefits and potential upsides to grey divorce, you face unique hurdles, too. For example, you likely have amassed many more joint assets over your marriage than a younger couple. Thus, it will take more time and effort to untangle your assets. This can lengthen the divorce process and create a headache for both parties, even if the divorce is amicable.
You also have to worry about retirement and future support. Some couples had a primary bread-winner, or both spouses relied on their retirement plan. When you divorce, you may not have access to these funds anymore. You will have to restructure your finances to support yourself. Some people even have to return to work or put off their retirement plans for years to come.
You have to decide for yourself whether or not these downsides outweigh the upsides.