The name sometimes given to divorce among older adults is “gray divorce,” and it can bring its own set of challenges. Tennessee couples who divorce when they are near retirement or after retirement may not have the flexibility to rebuild financially that younger people with more years ahead of them in the workforce do.

With this in mind, it is important that older people who are getting a divorce proceed carefully and with a thorough understanding of their marital and personal finances. They also need to understand how their lives will change after divorce and what they will need to support themselves. This could include building up an emergency savings fund, ensuring that money to support children and grandchildren is available, or planning long-term travel.

The first step for people in this situation should be to gather all information on assets and debt as well as such paperwork as tax returns and estate planning documents. The latter may need to be revised after the divorce is final. People may also need to have some tangible assets, such as art and jewelry, appraised. This information can help them determine what they want to keep in the final divorce settlement. People who are concerned that a spouse might try to hide assets may want to discuss how they can prevent this with an attorney.

As long as there are no issues like hidden assets that could mean litigation is necessary, an attorney may help in the process of negotiating the settlement. Many people prefer this to litigation, and even in a high-conflict divorce, mediation may help individuals resolve their differences. Finding a solution that suits everyone is the focus of mediation, in contrast to litigation, which is adversarial. Mediation can also be less expensive, less time-consuming and less stressful than litigation.