At this point, anyone looking into divorce or reading about divorce has likely heard of the term, “gray divorce.” And, especially for those thinking about divorcing later in life, they are probably looking for some advice.
Gray divorce is normal
Gray divorce is a divorce between spouses 50-years-old and older, and it is completely normal. In fact, gray divorce has become more-and-more common since the 1990s for several reasons. First, as a society, divorce has been normalized and accepted. Second, two-income households have made a divorce less financially scary, especially for women, who used to be expected to stay home and now work. Third, some couples plan to divorce after children leave for college. Since this is at least 18 years after the birth of one child, couples who use this strategy, especially those with more than one child, will likely be in their 50s.
For a spouse that has not worked for decades, the idea of going back to work after a gray divorce can be scary. But, many, many people have successfully transitioned before, and alimony can help with the transition. Plus, one will be entitled to at least some percentage of the working spouse’s retirement and Social Security.
Retirement and investment assets
Of the key concerns that many spouses have in gray divorces is retirement. After all, if one is divorcing in at least their 50s, they have much less time to plan or accumulate wealth for retirement. However, rest assured that retirement is part of the marital estate, and even if one has been a stay-at-home spouse, these retirement accounts will be divided in a divorce.
What about Social Security?
Yes, even Social Security can be shared. If one has been married for 10 years or long, the ex-spouse remains unmarried and they are aged 62 or older, then the non-working spouse may still be entitled to Social Security benefits. According to the Social Security Administration, the working spouse would be entitled to their entire benefit, and the stay-at-home spouse would be entitled to half, meaning that the SSA would pay out 1.5 times the working spouse’s benefit. What does all this mean? For Sweetwater, Texas, residents looking into divorce, call a family law attorney.