Divorces that occur later in life, so called gray divorces, are becoming quite common. In fact, they have doubled since the 1990s, and those who are 65 and older have seen their divorce rates triple. Of course, there are many causes of divorce, but oftentimes couples find that money problems are major contributor to marriage dissolution. In the case of older couples, one spouse may become concerned about outliving his or her financial resources, which can cause conflict when he or she believes that the other spouse mismanages money.

Increased life expectancy may also play a contributing factor to gray divorces. Simply put, older individuals may decide that they don’t want to spend their last years stuck in a marriage that makes them unhappy.

Regardless of why an older couple decides to seek divorce, they need to enter the marriage dissolution process with a firm understanding of the financial stakes. The property division process can be highly contentious, especially when a couple possesses a significant number of assets. Those individuals who are going through a gray divorce will probably have to consider selling their home to split the proceeds, divide pension and retirement accounts, consider the appropriateness of alimony and the reality that it may last for the rest of an individual’s life, and figure out how Social Security benefits will be affects.

These matters aren’t always cut and dry. In fact, there is often a lot of room for negotiation and argument, which is why older individuals who are considering divorce should think about discussing their circumstances with a family law attorney of their choosing. By doing so, these individuals can rest assured that their best interests, as well as their financial stability, is as fully protected as is possible given the facts at hand.