When an older couple decides to divorce, it may come as a surprise to those around them. As an older person contemplating divorce, you may feel alone, frightened or even embarrassed.
There are many misconceptions surrounding “gray divorce,” the term often used to describe divorces between older couples.
Myth: It is strange for older couples to divorce
Gray divorce is not as uncommon as you may think. In fact, divorces among older couples are increasing. Possible reasons for this include changing social norms, longer lifespans and greater financial independence among women.
Myth: Alimony is a thing of the past
While some people believe alimony to be an antiquated idea, it is often necessary in gray divorces, particularly those in which only one spouse works. Rejoining the workforce as an older person can be hard. The higher-earning spouse may need to pay alimony, also known as spousal support, to the other spouse.
Myth: You do not need to worry about your adult children
Your grown children can still have strong feelings about your divorce. Like young children, they may need reassurance that you still love them and that your relationship with them will not change. There will likely be occasions throughout your children’s lives, such as graduations and weddings, when they expect you both to be present.
Myth: Dividing assets is more complicated if you are rich
Gray divorce can be complicated no matter how much money you have. You likely have assets that younger couples may not, such as retirement accounts and social security benefits. If you have lived together for a long time, it may be difficult to distinguish your separate property from marital property.
If you are considering a divorce, understanding the reality of the situation can help you make an informed decision.