Many married couples in Ohio will file for divorce later in life. This is commonly called a “gray divorce.” The key to surviving a gray divorce later in life is to plan ahead.

Divorce among older adults presents a unique set of challenges. Many older couples have accumulated different types of property together including real estate, savings accounts, checking accounts and life insurance plans. Having a variety of assets can make the divorce process more complicated.

Many people find that their financial goals are very different from their spouse’s as they approach retirement age. One spouse may want to spend their life savings travelling the world while the other may want to invest in giving back to the community.

The first step for preparing for divorce is to take an inventory of all assets, including intangible assets like bank accounts and 401(k)s. This can help a divorce litigant make informed decisions when it is time to discuss property settlement. A list of debts is also important since marital debts may be divided in a property settlement agreement.

Another important consideration is future needs. Individuals who are contemplating divorce should consider their plans for retirement as well as how their children or grandchildren may be affected financially. Discussing this with a spouse calmly can help make the divorce process go much more smoothly.

An experienced attorney may be able to help clients with divorce and other family law topics. An attorney can take much of the stress out of divorce by handling the planning and negotiation process. If an expert is necessary, such as a forensic accountant who can analyze the marital estate to account for all assets, an attorney can provide any needed referrals.