Divorce can be tough for any couple, regardless of how long you’ve been married. However, for couples who have a few decades of marriage under their belt, a gray divorce can come with some unique challenges.
1. Splitting marital assets
Since you and your spouse have been married for years, you’ve likely accumulated many valuable assets that you both share. The simple task of identifying your marital assets in and of itself can become a challenging one since you have years of assets to sort through and find.
Also, since Georgia is not a community property state, it means that your marital assets won’t merely be split 50/50. Instead, you’ll have to decide who contributed what to the marriage and the assets, such as properties, vehicles, income and even debts. If you cannot decide who gets what, a judge will have to determine how to distribute your assets fairly.
2. Retirement benefits
Generally, you and your spouse will receive an equal amount of your retirement savings. However, this can pose a serious problem if you worked harder to save up for retirement than your spouse did. You likely wouldn’t be receiving as much as you deserve in a case like this.
Other times, when the retirement money gets split, it isn’t enough to cover the bills and cost of living for two separate individuals as it would if you had remained married.
3. Lack of support
Many older divorcing couples don’t have the support they need from close family members. If you have children, you might be lucky if they are willing to take time out of their lives to help you through this difficult time.
But often, this lack of support isn’t out of spite. Your adult children might not be there to support you because they are too busy raising their own family and establishing their careers. It can be difficult for them to put their lives on hold to help you get through yours.
4. Outside critique
Many people who divorce have to face critique, invasive questions and sometimes even rumors from friends, family, and anyone else on the outside. Often, that critique is magnified for couples going through a gray divorce.
After so many years of marriage, people like to speculate on the cause of your divorce. Others will criticize you for “giving up,” and some might even argue that if you’ve been married this long, you may as well just stick it out.
The beginning of a new chapter
No matter your age or how long your marriage lasted, divorce is often the only answer for many couples. In fact, gray divorces are growing increasingly more common. Nevertheless, divorce is still an emotionally painful and complicated process for anyone going through it. But in the end, it can allow you to move towards a bright future, regardless of where you are in life.