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Divorcing in old age: Gray divorces

You've been with your spouse for decades, and now he's decided it's time to move on. Your children moved out of the house, and you're on your own. It came as a shock, but you just want to make sure that you can support yourself after a divorce.

The problem in your case is that you stayed home as a stay-at-home parent for several years. You left your career to raise your kids, and your spouse always supported you. While you have some retirement savings and a small nest egg of your own, you don't think you'll be able to get back into your career quickly or without additional training.

Gray divorces like yours are common

Gray divorces have become more common over time. In fact, the number of gray divorces (divorces involving people 50 years old or older) have nearly doubled since the 1990s. Why has it become so common? Some believe that over the years, people tend to grow apart. Perhaps you're ready to travel and see the world, but your spouse just wants to be settled into the house and enjoy retirement. Whatever the case, this is a divorce that can work out in both your favors.

What should you remember about gray divorces?

There are lots of assets to divide, and getting appropriate valuations for those assets is important. Knowing how much your insurance is worth, the amount in your retirement accounts and the value of other assets is vital when you divide your property. Knowing tax implications for receiving or paying spousal support also affects you.

While divorces after a year or two might be managed on your own, a gray divorce leaves little room for errors. Those going through divorce at an older age need to be certain of the choices they make, so they're able to move forward with financial stability and security.

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