There was a time when most couples married in their 20s, and if a couple separated, typically, they were still relatively young. However, over the last few decades, the trend has changed. According to research, the rate of divorce among adults aged 50 and older has more than doubled since 1990. This trend, called “gray divorce,” comes with its own set of potential challenges, as the parties involved are likely preparing for retirement or already retired. Experts offer the following advice to help Texas couples in this position deal with such challenges.

Divorcing older individuals should begin with the basics, say the experts. People need to establish a solid baseline by completing a cash-flow analysis and then comparing cash flow during marriage with estimated amounts post-divorce. If a divorcing person is not yet retired, he or she should then revise the retirement plan accordingly; this includes recalculating regular savings goals. As well, divorcing couples, especially if they are closer to retirement, must decide how they will divide existing retirement assets.

In addition to investing the time into calculating finances, divorcing individuals are smart to heed a few other tips from the experts. For one, divorcing people should update all key documents involving beneficiaries and other directives. Most people name their spouse as executor, etc., but for obvious reasons, divorcing couples will want to change these names. Also, people who have been covered under their spouse’s health insurance will need to consider alternatives, especially if they do not have the option of signing up with their own employer’s health care plan. Finally, some divorcing individuals will want to think about delaying retirement altogether, if they are not already retired.

Any Texas resident who has been or is in the process of divorce can attest to the challenges it presents, both emotionally and financially, and the stress that typically results. For older couples who are approaching retirement or have already reached this milestone, the dissolution of their marriage may create yet another layer of stress. However, those who think ahead and plan for their future as a single person will likely fare well in this new phase of their life. Experienced family law attorneys are available to guide divorcing individuals through the important decisions they need to make during the divorce process.