While all divorces are complex, gray divorces are particularly complicated. The longer a couple is together, the more inter-meshed their lives become. That makes the negotiation process uniquely challenging.
U.S. News & World Report explains the common concerns people have about gray divorce. Understanding the challenges that lay ahead will prepare you to make the best decisions for your future.
Will I need to pay alimony?
Courts award Alimony payments in gray divorces when one spouse has a limited earning capacity. In this case, the primary breadwinner makes payments to their ex to support their living expenses after the divorce. Alimony is often given to spouses who were primarily responsible for child care, which may have prevented them from gaining employment and educational experience.
Who gets the family home?
Divvying up the family home is a tough decision for older couples. You can sell the property and split the sale price, or one party can buy the other out and find another place to live. If you and your ex both want to live in the home, you will need to develop an alternate arrangement, such as trading another asset worth half the value of the home.
Will I still receive Social Security benefits?
You can receive half of your ex’s Social Security benefits post-divorce if you meet certain conditions: you are currently unmarried, your former marriage lasted at least ten years, and your ex’s benefits are higher than yours. Accordingly, people who remarry or whose marriages were of a shorter duration are not eligible. Benefits from your former spouse are also reduced if you withdraw them prior to reaching retirement age, which depends on the year you were born.
Gray divorces spell the end of a long relationship, but they can also give you a new lease on life. Taking care of yourself is top priority, so you can look forward to a bright new future.