People sometimes talk about divorce as something that mostly younger couples go through. However, older couples whose children are already adults and who have spent decades together also get divorced for reasons ranging from infidelity to long-term dissatisfaction with the relationship.

If you are at or past the age of retirement and seriously considering a divorce, you will go through what people now refer to as a gray divorce. Although the legal steps involved in a gray divorce are the same as those in any other divorce, there are certain practical considerations that are different now that you are older.

Will you have enough retirement benefits for two individuals?

The amount of savings necessary to support one household with two individuals might be far lower than the amount necessary to support those two individuals in separate households. There will now be two mortgages or rent payments, two sets of utility bills and even separate grocery bills. You may need to adjust your plans for retirement or even consider taking on a part-time job. 

Do you know how to locate a lifetime worth of assets?

The longer you have stayed married to one person, the more property you will likely have accumulated throughout your marriage. You likely have resources that range from banking accounts and investments to real estate and valuable personal property such as recreational vehicles, boats or even collectibles.

You will need to spend some time reviewing your financial records and your property to make sure you understand the value and contents of your marital estate. If you don’t know, you can’t ask for your fair share in the divorce.

Will you need to pay or ask for alimony?

Whether you were a homemaker who cared for the children or the wage-earner, you need to know that a long-term marriage of multiple decades impacts alimony rights.

The courts consider the length of the marriage and unpaid contributions to the household, as well as someone’s ability to support themselves, when trying to decide if alimony is appropriate. Permanent alimony could even be on the table.

A good plan can go a long way toward protecting your retirement and financial stability when considering a gray divorce, so the sooner you get support and advice, the better.