The Informed Investor

Guide to Gray Divorce: Protecting Your Financial Assets

November 16, 2021

Gray divorce is a term used to describe a divorce between two people over the age of 50. There are many reasons gray divorce is on the rise, but as financial advisors, our focus is not on why couples are divorcing later in life, but how we can protect their financial assets. When generational wealth, family businesses, and sizable investments are added to the mix, gray divorce can present many financial challenges.

In this guide to gray divorce, our financial advisors share some of the key issues facing couples as they divide their financial assets and plan their next stage of life.


Financial Concerns in Gray Divorce

The longer a couple has been together, the more entangled their finances become. This is true no matter your income bracket, but the concerns are different when wealth is involved. Among the common issues we deal with in gray divorce are:

  • Business assets. Do both spouses own the business, or only one? Was it a family business inherited from a previous generation or was it started during the marriage?
  • Spousal support. Spousal support and child support are more-or-less straightforward for younger couples who are getting divorced, but with retirement on the horizon and the potential for declining health, if alimony will be awarded it can be complicated. (Learn more: financial tips for women.)
  • Pensions and retirement savings. Couples of considerable means may also have earned pensions and/or have retirement savings. Retirement accounts established during a marriage are considered marital property in many states, but the division of these assets does not have to be equal.
  • Other financial concerns. The same financial issues younger couples face in divorce are also concerns in gray divorce, with the primary difference being that assets have higher values. Dividing real estate, other property (furniture, art, jewelry, cars), and even frequent flier miles are all part of disentangling finances in gray divorce.


Gray Divorce: Moving Forward

Your financial advisor should work closely with your divorce attorney if you’re in the process of divorcing. While an attorney is key to protecting your financial assets, wealth management services from an experienced financial advisor play an important role in helping your attorney understand the significance of different assets and laying the foundation for you to move forward financially after the dissolution of your marriage.

After a gray divorce, you may need to make changes to your lifestyle to accommodate your new financial reality. Saving for retirement may not have been a concern before, and now you might have to pivot and start saving aggressively. Your priorities and goals are likely to change significantly following a gray divorce, even if you’re able to protect your financial assets. Our highly trained, fiduciary financial advisors can help you chart a path forward.


Learn More About Our Financial Services

If you have $3 million or more in investable assets and would like to learn more about our financial services, our financial advisors are here to help. ICCNV provides clear and unbiased guidance for its clients, backed by a team of experienced fiduciary, financial professionals. Contact us today at 702-871-8510 to learn how our team can help you.


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