Once, getting divorced at the age of 50 or older was practically unheard of in Georgia. But in recent years, the number of “gray divorces” is on the rise. An increasing number of elderly couples are choosing to end their marriages and spend the rest of their lives on their own terms. While gray divorces can help elderly individuals take control of their lives, they also come with their own set of challenges.

What makes gray divorces particularly difficult?

Financial issues can pose a major challenge for people who have undergone a gray divorce. When you file for divorce, you typically end up dividing up most of your assets, including your investments, savings account and retirement fund. If you file for divorce in your 30s, you’ll have time to build up these assets again. Unfortunately, people in their 60s or 70s don’t have this opportunity. They’ll have to figure out how to financially support themselves after losing a large chunk of their assets.

Many people over the age of 50 are also paying for their children to go to college. Since most universities are incredibly expensive, this can add to their financial stress. They might have to stop paying for their child’s tuition, which causes stress for their child.

Additionally, once you’ve finalized divorce, you’re on your own when it comes to paying the bills. You’ll likely be paying for gas, food, utilities, health care, rent and everything else without any assistance from your former spouse.

If one partner had health insurance and the other didn’t, that individual will also lose their health care coverage when they file for divorce. This is especially problematic for older couples, who often have more health issues. However, a family law attorney might be able to help them negotiate for spousal support.

How might an attorney help you through your divorce?

An attorney may be able to help you protect your finances during and after the divorce. If you’re filing for a gray divorce, your attorney might help you secure spousal support so that you can pay for your bills. An attorney may also help you negotiate for child support if your children haven’t yet left the house.