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Factors that make divorcing later in life complicated

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2024 | Family Law

When couples in Massachusetts decide to get divorced late in life, they face a common set of challenges. This topic merits consideration because there has been an increase in late-life divorces, also called gray divorces, in recent years. The challenges older couples face as they divorce look different from those of younger couples.

Healthcare challenges

When older couples seek out the services of family law attorneys for divorce, they often comment on some of the health-related challenges they face. Older couples might be on Medicare or government-sponsored healthcare. It can be difficult for them to keep health insurance after the divorce. Additionally, some older individuals have medical problems that require continuing care, adding to the financial burden that is already associated with divorce.

Retirement challenges

After divorce, some older individuals realize they can no longer afford to retire as early as they had hoped. To make matters more challenging, they may find some of their retirement accounts and Social Security benefits at risk during a gray divorce.

Facing emotional challenges

Couples who have been together for decades confront unique emotional hurdles during divorce. They grapple with accepting the end of a marriage that has weathered many challenges and joys. The emotional weight intensifies when considering the spouse has been a lifelong partner.

Navigating social challenges

Older couples lean on a robust social network tailored to their marriage. They engage with friends and family as a unified couple. Divorce disrupts this social fabric, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Confronting financial challenges

Even when older couples approach divorce cooperatively, they encounter financial instability. With fewer working years ahead, they struggle to rebuild their assets. Financing individual retirements proves costlier than planning for a shared one. Consequently, some individuals return to work and postpone retirement. Additionally, the divorce might reduce the inheritance left for their children.

Divorce presents challenges regardless of age. However, spouses can navigate these obstacles better by planning meticulously and maintaining a realistic outlook on the future.