Divorce is a challenge whenever it occurs. There is the heartbreak that comes from realizing the relationship won’t last and the stress of trying to separate your lives and finances after combining everything.
Even those who have previously had a positive relationship with their spouse may fight over what happens with their property when they decide to file for divorce. The challenges you face can be harder to overcome if you and your spouse are close to retirement age.
When you are in your 50s or beyond and contemplating divorce after many years of marriage, filing can create challenges that you have to consider when planning your divorce or fine-tuning your approach and expectations.
More of your property is at risk
Divorcing couples in North Dakota typically have to divide their shared or marital property. More of your income and assets will be marital property if your marriage has lasted for several decades than would be the case in a marriage that only lasts three years. The two of you will have more property to divide and may also have a harder time agreeing on what is fair.
One spouse may need long-term support
Alimony or spousal support is usually temporary or rehabilitative. The goal is to help someone in the short term so that they can reenter the workforce and support themselves.
The closer you are to retirement age and the longer one spouse stayed out of the workforce to perform unpaid labor for the family, the more contentious negotiations surrounding spousal support may become.
Family relationships may feel the strain
If you share children, a divorce earlier in life would have given them a chance to acclimate because shared custody is common in such situations. However, if the two of you are close to retirement age, then your children are likely more mature as well.
They will have their own opinions about the end of your relationship and are much more likely to take sides. The social fallout of a divorce later in life can be stronger than people expect, especially among close family members. Especially if you anticipate not having adequate resources for retirement after splitting your savings with your ex, maintaining good relationships with your children may be crucial to your comfort and financial stability as you age.
Identifying and planning for the consequences of a possible gray divorce can help you plan a comfortable and happy retirement uncomplicated by a miserable marriage.