Financially Preparing for Gray Divorce

Marguerita Cheng |

Divorce is a mental and physical process of letting go of a partnership here are some insights to prepare your finances.

What is Gray Divorce?

Gray divorce—divorce among adults over the age of 50—is on the rise. The U.S. Census Department found that 34.9 percent of all Americans who divorced were aged 55 or older. 

While a variety of factors play into why gray divorce has become more common, some key elements include:

  1. Dual Income 
  2. Longer Life Expectancy 
  3. Empty Nesting 


Dual Incomes Change Divorce Dynamics

Dual incomes change the conversation around financial dependence. A one-income family income would hinder people from filing for divorce. Earning power increasingly changes the family dynamic, and people are less likely to stay in unhappy marriages.


Longer Life Expectancy

People are living longer. With advances in medical care and people taking better care of their health, the age at which one can consider retirement is increasing. This gives people more time to decide whether or not they want to remain in a marriage and may leave. The increase in financial choices changes the relationship dynamic. 


Empty Nesting

Many couples who were married in their 20s and 30s become empty-nesters in their 50s. The focus on children for a long period of time can cause a reassessment of the marriage and a reevaluation of goals for the future.

While preparing for divorce be mindful of these steps

Divorce is one of the most challenging parts of anyone’s life, but sometimes it is inevitable. As a divorce financial specialist, I’ve spoken with many people about their reasons for divorce and walked them through the process as an advocate. While preparing for your divorce can be mentally exhausting one does not have to do it alone. Here are some key elements to help you prepare for your separation. 

The First Quarter of the Year is Peak Divorce Season 

January to March is peak divorce filing time. This may be because families wait until after the holidays to file.  Be mindful: If most people file at the beginning of the year it will a long time to process the paperwork. Give yourself patience because filing for divorce can be time-consuming.  

Ask for Help 

 It’s important to understand the emotional and financial strains that come with a gray divorce. Talking to a trustworthy person that has experience divorce can help you reframe the divorce experience.  Reaching out for counseling or therapy can be beneficial in helping people cope with the significant changes they’re facing. 


Consider Pre-Divorce Counseling

It can be beneficial to seek counseling during the process, especially if decisions need to be made about the future and custody arrangements. Divorce counseling can provide a neutral person who can help couples navigate differences and come up with a plan. 


Gather Information

It is important to gather information on finances and any other documents that may need to be sorted through. Prior to filing for divorce organizing important documents:  bank accounts, insurance policies or titles can provide a smoother transition for filing. 

Work with a financial professional

In addition to the emotional toll of divorce the financial process. There are many aspects of a gray divorce to consider, from splitting assets to spousal support. By taking it one step at a time and properly organizing your finances beforehand, you’ll be in good shape to move forward with your divorce and make well-informed decisions about your future.

Working with a financial professional can help ensure you understand the financial implications of filing for a divorce and make sure your assets are split in an equitable manner. 


Gray divorce can be difficult but by preparing mentally, emotionally, and financially you can take steps to make the process smoother. Everyone’s experience will differ depending on the individual situation.