Bill and Melinda Gates recently announced they were ending their marriage after decades together. The couple has amassed billions of dollars over the course of their 27-year marriage, and many are wondering how their divorce will affect their fortunes and financial futures. While most Virginia couples don’t have millions or billions at stake in their divorce, more older couples are choosing to divorce later in life than ever before.
The increase in gray divorce
Gray divorce is one that involves two people around the age of 50 or older. Perhaps they stayed married for the sake of the kids, or maybe they stayed together for convenience. It is now more common for people to decide to split up after years or decades, and they often have a lifetime of shared savings, accumulated assets and joint debt. These divorces can be financially complex for these reasons.
Many factors may contribute to the rise in gray divorces. It is now less taboo to get a divorce, and people are living longer than ever. For some, it is important to find happiness for the next decades of their lives, and this may mean ending their current marriage.
Finances at stake
Regardless of why a marriage is over, a gray divorce will likely involve some complex financial choices. Older Virginia couples may have significant retirement and long-term savings to distribute, and one or both may be nearing retirement age. It is particularly important to be careful and thoughtful in all financial decisions when walking through this process later in life.