Divorce is no longer something that just happens to the young, or even those who are middle-aged. In fact, numbers for those groups have gone down, while divorce for those above 50 years old has increased twofold – threefold for those over 65, reports the Pew Research Center.
While remarriages and fewer years together are high risk factors, even those who have been married for decades are not immune to splitting up. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some tips to help you with the unique circumstances that come with “gray divorce.”
The older you get, the bigger the financial impact of divorce due to retirement accounts and other complex financial matters. You may also support children in college or still living at home. If you were not the main breadwinner, you may feel concerned about your future.
It is vital you follow a budget right away until you are financially stable. You may have to permanently change your lifestyle or liquidate assets. Start looking for a job if you are physically able to work, or consider other options for financial assistance.
Consider getting a divorce through mediation or collaboration instead of litigation, to save money. Hire professionals such as accountants, analysts or valuators who are familiar with complex assets and senior divorce. You need a team that has the right experience to ensure the best outcome.
Divorce in your older years can be harder in some ways. Depending on your age and social interactions, you may have a small support system of family and friends to lean on. You may feel hesitant to burden your children, who may already struggle with the change. Loneliness is a serious risk.
This is the time to reach out to prevent depression. If you are able to, participate in volunteer opportunities. Join an organization, club or social group to make new friends and expand your interests. Seek professional counseling to help with the transition.