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Important things to consider in a gray divorce

If you are considering a divorce and you are past the age of 50, you are not alone. In fact, divorce past the age of 50—otherwise known as gray divorce—is becoming increasingly common in the United States. According to a recent study from Bowling Green State University, the frequency of gray divorce doubled between the years 1990 and 2010.

Gray divorce comes with unique circumstances that may not come up for younger couples. Couples in their prime may have accumulated more assets, for example. Or perhaps their children are no longer minors but adults. In any case, when considering whether a gray divorce is right for you, there are several factors to take into consideration:

  • Alimony payments

For long-term marriages, alimony payments could play a role in divorce agreements. It is more likely in a gray divorce that one spouse could be granted alimony, particularly if the other spouse was the breadwinner for the majority of the marriage.

  • Retirement funds

Retirement funds could significantly be affected in a gray divorce. A retirement fund could take a serious hit, even in a divorce where one spouse is at fault.

  • The marital home

The home in which a couple spend the majority of their time together can hold many memories—some good, some bad. But a home is also typically a very valuable asset, and you should deal with it shrewdly.

  • Children

Children can still play a role in divorce, even if they are adults and not minors. Adult children may still have emotional reactions to news of a divorce, and some parents may still be assisting their grown children financially.

  • Remaining amicable

Particularly when a marriage dissolves after many years, it can be in the best interests of both parties to remain amicable. Though every divorce is different, an attorney or a neutral mediator can help former spouses maintain amicability.

  • Dating or remarrying

Dating, falling in love and remarrying can often provide a new lease on life. Dating and possibly remarrying can potentially open up new worlds for divorcees past the age of 50.

  • Prenuptial agreements

A prenuptial agreement can be a wise decision for someone who chooses to remarry. Without a prenup, experiencing a second divorce or a major life event could wreak havoc financially.

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