The end of a marriage cannot be pigeonholed as solely affecting a certain faction of people who are in a specific age range. Not all California divorces are the same and the issues and matters in dispute can vary. A so-called "gray divorce" in which older people decide to move forward and part ways as a couple is growing increasingly common. There are certain foundational factors that are a concern regardless of the type of divorce, but a gray divorce is unique in a variety of ways. Considering them is critical to a reasonable resolution.
Couples 50 and older are getting divorced at twice the frequency than in 1990. There are certain considerations that are important in this rise in divorce. People are living longer with healthier, more active lives. Often, the people are on their second or third marriage. Those 50 and older who have gotten remarried have double the chance at getting a divorce. No matter why the couple decides to part ways, finances are one of the biggest worries. Thinking about important aspects of gray divorce and retirement is a smart decision as the case proceeds.
When a couple is married for an extended period or is on a fixed income, it can be taken for granted how much is coming in and going out. A divorce will change that. Older couples are advised to compare everyday costs while married and when single. This will also impact taxes and how much can be deducted at tax time. Retirement savings were likely formulated to account for a couple. With the divorce, that changes. Retirement accounts might be split as part of the settlement. There could be penalties for some accounts when there is an early withdrawal.
Social Security can be worrisome as differences in lifetime earnings could hinder how much will be received. An estate plan will need to be updated to account for the new situation as the former spouse is likely to have been the main beneficiary and that will no longer be desirable. Health insurance could be in flux with one former spouse needing to make other arrangements. Some people are well-advised to put off retirement until they are on stronger financial footing as individuals.
With any divorce - gray or otherwise - the law and the litany of concerns that arise require preparation. Divorce legal issues are not limited to age. A law firm that can help people who are older and are thinking about their finances and more is essential to the case. Calling for advice is imperative from the beginning with a gray divorce.