A divorce later in life may avert complications such as child custody battles. However, other challenges arise with the split of a couple over the age of 50.
What must spouses consider when maneuvering through a “gray divorce?”
Greater difficulty in disentangling lives
As society has gradually destigmatized divorce, separations later in life are more common than ever. Psychology Today stated that the divorce rate for couples over 50 doubled between 1990 and 2015 and nearly tripled for couples over 65.
The root systems of two trees growing near each other become increasingly intertwined over time. Uprooting one can cause considerable damage to either. Similarly, separating the lives of two people who have spent decades together can create irreparable difficulties if mishandled. Steady guidance is one way to minimize hardship.
Potential implications of gray divorce
One issue is that middle-aged spouses may be supporting parents approaching the end of life. The financial requirements of aged parents add to the economic burden of a newly single person who no longer has the assistance of a mate. Alimony may not provide enough to cover that additional expense.
Another matter is that splits of marriages of over 20 years can incur open durational alimony. This type of alimony intends to provide money to a supported spouse without a predetermined fixed ending date since a supported spouse at such a mature age would likely struggle to support themself at the marital standard of living fully.
New Jersey divorce proceedings typically require life insurance on the party paying alimony to ensure payments continue if the paying party dies prematurely. With higher assets than a younger couple and higher mortality, premiums can be costly.
Since divorce has far-reaching consequences, couples benefit themselves by seeking sound direction to manage the process for minimum repercussions.