Given that those involved in a gray divorce are typically over 50, it might seem like there are fewer complications and concerns that a standard divorce involving custody battles or child support payments.
Gray divorces represent about one-fourth of divorces taking place across the country. Despite the maturity level and established lifestyle assumed for those involved, there are both social and individual costs to consider when filing for divorce.
The impact on the family
Many adults wait to divorce until their children are grown and living independently, hoping to salvage the nuclear family during the most vulnerable and formidable years of a child’s development. Even still, a gray divorce also has a serious impact on the relationship between the parents and children of a marriage. Research indicates that men are less likely to engage with adult children post-divorce while mothers increase their contact with adult children. Fathers, however, do increase their financial support for their adult children while mothers seem to have fewer opportunities to provide financial assistance.
The financial impact
Female bank accounts are often much smaller than those of men and with less in savings compared to their former husbands. Given that those pursuing a gray divorce are nearing or reached eligibility for Social Security Benefits, any female married less than 10 years is not eligible for her ex-husband’s benefits. This further complicates the financial struggle for women post-divorce.
Filing for divorce is never an easy task, given the dramatic changes that take place for those involved. Preparing for these changes can aid in the transition but seeking professional guidance also makes the journey easier.