Divorcing later in life, commonly known as “gray divorce,” is more common than ever. According to Forbes, there are three reasons for this phenomenon. For one, more women earn an independent income, which makes divorce more realistic. Secondly, increasing life expectancy means fewer couples are content to settle for an ongoing undesirable partnership. The third reason is the modern tendency to have children later in life. Empty nesters at 50 or older might want a drastic change in their life.
Regardless of why you might consider a divorce late in life, there are some things you must prepare for.
Alimony payments and other income
Spousal support is a complex subject. Before committing to a divorce, you need to think about both your and your spouse’s earning potential. Do not automatically assume that you will receive fiscal support. In Georgia, alimony is not guaranteed. Think about your current and future ability to earn income.
Health care programs
Your health is obviously essential. If you relied on your spouse for health care, you will need to investigate your options for the future. Consider when you will qualify for Medicare or other programs.
Children and counseling
Divorce introduces several challenges when it comes to your children. Even if your children are adults, you still need to be thoughtful of their situation and feelings. A gray divorce carries certain social stigmas. Do not outright dismiss the need for family counseling just because you no longer live with your children.
If you or your spouse are mentally or physically impaired, a caretaker or guardian may be necessary. This will have an impact on your financial considerations as well.
Divorce is not something to take lightly. Try to mentally and financially prepare yourself before making a permanent decision.