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Wise | Lieberman Divorce & Family Law Attorneys Wise | Lieberman Divorce & Family Law Attorneys
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What Will a Gray Divorce Mean for You?


According to recent research, the standard of living for men typically declines by roughly 21 percent in a gray divorce, whereas women’s standard of living nosedives by 45 percent. Wealth declines by half for both partners. Even so, divorce rates for older Americans have been climbing since the early 90’s, actually doubling for couples over 55, and tripling for couples over 65.  Escaping an unhappy marriage is clearly a worthy endeavor for older Americans, and should always occur with a clear view of what’s ahead.

Changing Retirement Plans 

Divorce often means having to split up retirement accounts, meaning a possible delay in retirement plans. In addition to parting with half of the funds, you may have to use your remaining nest egg to pay for a new home, even health insurance, or legal bills. At the same time, you’ll want to double down on payments into your retirement savings, and max out the deposits if you can. Building up those savings/retirement accounts could be tough, but will give you more flexibility down the road.

Heading to the Job Market 

If you are a partner who’s been at home raising a family for years, the mere thought of entering the workforce may be disheartening. But it may be necessary to get a job, even if you downsize and reduce your weekly expenditures.

What Happens with the Family Home? 

Whoever winds up with the marital home will probably also have to deal with the mortgage, taxes, insurance, and maintenance. Refinancing could mean an appreciably higher interest rate, but selling could result in a loss of equity if the market is down.

What Else? 

Will insurance be a new expense? How about transportation? And what about the non-fiscal costs to divorce, like your time?  If you still have kids at home, you’ll be on your own  to address the nutritional, educational, and social demands of those children when they are with you. And an often overlooked cost of divorce is the social costs, which can be especially devastating to couples who have shared friends or regular getaways with other couples.  Who gets to keep the friends? Who, if anyone, will continue the weekend outings with other couples who have been in your circle for years?

Being Free of Your Spouse—or Not 

If the idea of never interacting with your spouse again outweighs the other costs of divorce, don’t forget that if you have shared children, your ex will most likely never truly be out of your life.  Even with adult children, understand that the kids will probably want to preserve a relationship with both of their parents.  In other words, there’s a good chance you’ll be interacting with your ex at graduations, weddings, and maybe even during holidays. You may be sharing grandchildren one day as well, with the soccer games and other milestones that come with that.

It’s Complex 

Gray divorce certainly has some complications that can seem frightening. But if you are considering a split later in life, it can be done.  It’s up to you to take care of yourself and your kids, to be assertive yet composed, and to create the life you want. At WiseLieberman our experienced Boca Raton divorce attorneys are prepared to fight for the best possible outcomes for you. Schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.

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