Divorcing after 50 brings unexpected changes

Perhaps you met in college or even high school. You married, bought a house, raised a family and planned for your retirement. You may have purchased a vacation home and are now watching your children fall in love. Maybe you even have grandchildren.

After decades of marriage, you might have fallen into a routine. It may not be satisfying, but it is not unpleasant for you. However, things change. If you and your spouse are now considering a divorce, you may want to understand the ramifications of ending your marriage after the age of 50.

Adjusting your personal life

Some of the personal issues people often face when they go through a gray divorce involve feelings of loneliness. While it is natural for marriages to lose some of their passion as years pass, there is a certain comfort in the companionship of a long-time spouse. Like many people, you may find that loss difficult. You may also try turning to your friends for comfort only to find that they commonly disappear when the divorce process is over.

Nevertheless, being on your own has a surprising freedom you didn't realize you were missing. You may have time for new pursuits, charitable interests, travel and even romance. However, many of those freedoms will depend on how financially stable your situation is after the divorce.

Financial surprises after a divorce

One regret many people, especially women, express when they divorce after 50 is that they didn't realize how difficult it would be to support themselves. Many newly divorced individuals reaching retirement age suddenly understand that they must find employment if they expect to have any security later in life. Job-hunting is a challenge at any age, but if you have been out of the workforce raising a family, it may be even more difficult. Some recommendations advisors make for people in this situation include the following:

  • Seek advice from a California career counselor about the alternatives available in your skill set.
  • Discuss with your attorney the feasibility of enriching your education or earning your degree.
  • Negotiate with your spouse the option of tuition payments in lieu of alimony.
  • Make sure you obtain a fair divorce settlement that comprises your share of all marital assets, including any stock options and interest in your spouse's business.

Divorcing after the age of 50 may not have been in your plan for the future, but this unexpected turn does not have to leave you struggling for the rest of your life. With the right legal advocate, you may emerge with a fresh outlook and a new direction in life. 

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