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Gray divorces are often more complex than people expect

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2023 | Divorce |

Gray divorce was an issue very few people even discussed a few years ago. Within a few decades, divorces later in life went from being an anomaly to being one of the most common types of divorce.

Those in their 50s and beyond now recognize that there is no shame in ending a long-term marriage that leaves them feeling unhappy or unsafe. Gray divorce is like almost any other divorce in New Hampshire. It is subject to the same laws as any other divorce, such as those regulating the division of resources.

However, gray divorces are often more complicated than divorces that take place earlier in life, in no small part because older couples have spent more years together accumulating wealth and sharing assets. What are some of the challenges that leave people concerned about the impact of a gray divorce?

Older children in college

When the children in the family go to college, parents often absorb a lot of those costs. College tuition is incredibly expensive, especially if people factor in the cost of living expenses and other secondary costs, like textbooks.

Parents in New Hampshire contemplating divorce may worry about how the end of their marriages will affect their finances and the ability to continue supporting their college-age children, and the division of any debts they have incurred on their children’s behalf.

Retirement concerns

Some couples decide to divorce in the years leading up to retirement and then worry that they will have to continue working for far longer than they initially anticipated. Others may have taken early retirement and may need to return to work until they reach the official age of retirement.

Needing to share retirement savings is relatively common, but couples can divide their savings without penalties and taxes if they follow the right steps. Lower-earning and dependent spouses may also be eligible for Medicare and Social Security benefits based on what the higher-earning spouse earned during the marriage, provided that the relationship lasted at least a decade.

Gray divorce can have added stresses that involve ongoing health challenges, blended families, adult children who take sides or adult children with special needs. Understanding what factors can make gray divorce particularly challenging and getting advice from a trusted attorney can help people explore their options and find the best path forward based on their financial and social circumstances.