Gray divorce is certainly not a technical term but merely applies to many divorce cases when people are in their 50s, 60s or beyond. There are other names for it, such as silver divorce, but they all refer to the same thing: People who are later in life and deciding to end their marriages, perhaps for the first time or perhaps after already getting divorced and remarried at a younger age.
A gray divorce is simpler in some ways. Most of the time, for instance, these couples no longer have children who live at home. If the kids are not minors, they do not have to think about child custody or child support — two of the biggest issues of younger divorces. Older couples can focus more on themselves and their finances.
That’s where things can get more complicated, though. If the couple planned to retire soon, what does the divorce mean for their savings? What about a retirement account? What about a pension plan? They have to address all of this carefully.
On top of that, the assets they own are more complicated. A young couple that is just renting an apartment and owns a few furnishings doesn’t have much to divide. An older couple who has a family home, a vacation home, multiple motor vehicles and a budding art collection may have far more on their plate to divide.
Gray divorce may also mean altering an estate plan. Couples likely left money or assets to both sides of the family and may now want to rework the plan as they divide their assets.
Those facing these unique challenges need to take the time to look into their legal options.