In 2019, the overall American divorce rate hit a half-century low. There is one exception to the decline though — gray divorce. Gray divorce refers to divorce among those who are over the age of 50, which is on the rise for its own unique reasons. Missouri couples who are going through a later in life divorce might face some unique hurdles as well.
People are living longer
In the past it might not have made much sense to end a marriage past retirement. Now, a 65-year-old who is in fairly good health might expect to still live at least another 20 years, if not longer. The idea of continuing an unhappy marriage for decades longer is just not palatable to many people.
Plenty of complicated assets
Couples who have been married for multiple decades have had time to accumulate lots of joint marital assets. Untangling those assets can be a lengthy process, especially when it comes to retirement assets like 401(k)s, IRAs and pensions. A qualified domestic relations order — QDRO — might even be required to effectively split certain retirement funds without incurring any penalties or taxes. Other assets couples should be on the lookout for during divorce include:
- Shared financial accounts
- The family home
Some people in Missouri might be hesitant about moving forward with a gray divorce because they are concerned about what their post-divorce finances will look like. While this is an understandable concern, it is not one that should prevent anyone from ending an unhappy marriage. Careful preparation and forethought can be invaluable tools for successfully navigating a divorce, and those who are unsure of how best to proceed can even reach out to a knowledgeable attorney for guidance.