What to Expect in a Gray Divorce (and Three Steps to Prepare)

Legal costs, how assets are divided and other expenses can be eyebrow-raising. Being prepared before you start the process is critical.

An older couple have an intense conversation over dinner.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In March 2019, I received a call from John, a longtime client. He was calling to tell me that after 30 years, he and Maureen were getting divorced. The “gray divorce revolution” refers to the more than doubling of the rate of divorce among couples over age 50 since 1990. Because we work with retirees, we have seen this trend firsthand.

What comes next is typically stress, financial shock and, finally, happiness. The bright spot to this article is that I have never met someone who actually regretted the divorce after the dust had settled. Perhaps that’s because of the increase in animosity they endured, but that’s a topic for another day...

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Evan T. Beach, CFP®, AWMA®
President, Exit 59 Advisory

After graduating from the University of Delaware and Georgetown University, I pursued a career in financial planning. At age 26, I earned my CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification.  I also hold the IRS Enrolled Agent license, which allows for a unique approach to planning that can be beneficial to retirees and those selling their businesses, who are eager to minimize lifetime taxes and maximize income.