More and more people over 50 years old are getting divorced. While everyone deserves to pursue happiness, divorce presents some specific challenges for this age group. According to a recent Forbes article, the top four challenges in grey divorces are Social Security benefits, division of assets, health insurance and adult children. By taking a look at common challenges, those considering grey divorce can better prepare to overcome some of the challenges that may be ahead.
Social Security benefits
Dividing Social Security benefits can be a challenge for some divorcing later in life. If a couple divorces at or above the age when they can begin collecting these benefits, their records must be examined. During this examination, the amount each person is eligible to receive must be calculated. Generally, the money accumulated during the marriage must be split equally, which may disrupt the retirement plans for the higher-wage earner. Additionally, the money may not be enough to cover the bills of two households as opposed to one.
Division of assets
Florida law recognizes equitable division of marital property. This means assets and debts will be divided according to what is fair, not necessarily what is equal. Some factors that a court may take into consideration when determining the division of assets includes the contributions each spouse made to the marriage, the economic circumstances of each spouse, the length of the marriage and others.
Non-marital property is not subject to equitable division. Non-marital property includes assets or liabilities either spouse acquired before marriage, items one spouse acquired by a noninterspousal gift or income generated from non-marital assets. However, when people are married for a long time it can sometimes be difficult to discern what is and is not marital property.
Instances when both spouses receive health insurance through one spouse’s employer can present a challenge in grey divorce. After the divorce is finalized, the health insurance for the unemployed spouse ends immediately. It can be risky to not have health insurance later in life, but the unemployed spouse may have difficulty affording the monthly premiums.
Children of any age often struggle with their parents' divorce. Although some parents wait until their children have left the house to pursue divorce, the action can still have a profound effect on even adult children. Adult children may try to save their parent’s marriage or may feel like they have to take sides. They may even feel like they have to put their own lives on hold to help support the needs of their parents.
Common challenges like these should not keep an unhappy couple from considering divorce. However, it can be helpful for those considering grey divorce to understand common challenges, so they are better able to overcome those obstacles.