More people over the age of 50 in Montana and other parts of the country are initiating steps to end marital unions. Experts often refer to divorces that involve people in the advanced stages of their lives as “gray divorces.” And while no divorce is easy for the participants, gray divorces present their own unique set of complications.
Money concerns can become a problem with any relationship. But many people will be less willing to tolerate financial irresponsibility from a spouse once they reach a certain age. Infidelity is also an issue common to couples of all ages. But partners that cheat multiple times may find an older spouse not as forgiving as he or she was on past occasions. Other reasons commonly cited as a divorce cause for older couples include addiction problems, the need for independence, and empty nest syndrome.
For many couples, a home represents the most valuable asset they share. But the dollar value of a home does not necessarily make it the most important issue for older divorcees. When splitting assets, they should seek to maintain control over possessions that most benefit them. They should also try their best to avoid emotional decisions.
Retirement and Social Security benefits also become more important for couples who part ways after 50. The main reason for this is less time exists for either spouse to recover from losses. The spouse earning the least money during the marriage might find it possible to apply for Social Security benefits based on payment information for the higher wage-earner. Retirement accounts will also become important when older divorcees divide marital assets.
Most people enter a marriage intending to spend their entire lives with their spouse. But this is not the result for approximately half of the couples in the country. Individuals considering a divorce may find it helpful to involve an attorney as early in the process as possible.