When you build a life with someone, raise a family and share most everything, what happens when the marriage ends after 20 years or more? Splits that occur as couples in their 50s or early 60s, also known as gray divorce, are becoming more common. Bowling Green University notes that almost 345,000 over the age of 50 women divorced their spouses in 2017, with Delaware and Nevada having the greatest number of divorces.
If you find yourself facing a gray divorce, you might want to understand how this event may affect several areas of your life, from finances to your mental health.
Depending on whether you or your spouse initiated divorce proceedings, you may face several serious changes in your finances. While child support is rarely an issue at this stage of life, the courts may award your ex-spouse alimony payments or award him or her ownership of your home or vehicles. The courts may also divide the value of any shared bank accounts or properties as well or, depending on the circumstances of the divorce, sell them off. This could affect any retirement plans you and your spouse once had, and you may find yourself living on a tight budget after the divorce.
New mental health issues
The loss of a long-lasting partnership can leave you reeling not only financially but mentally as well. Depression, anxiety and feelings of extreme grief may all develop. The emotions divorce causes can exhaust and drain you or increase symptoms of chronic illnesses, so it is important to remain aware of these potential problems.
Gray divorce rates tend to vary from state to state. However, the overall trend seems to remain on the rise.