The end of an older Pennsylvania couple’s marriage can bring drastic changes to their lives, including financial security and planning. Part of the only demographic in which the rate continues to rise, gray divorces can result in high costs for those involved.

Gray divorces can become costly because the couples involved have usually been married for a long time and have accumulated assets of high value over that period, including the family home, investments and retirement accounts. Gray divorces can also prove to be particularly delicate for each of parties, since they will then have less time to recover financially for their retirement. People over 50 are usually earning the maximum income for their professions, have less job choices and are closer to retirement age.

Gray divorces that become complicated can result in very high costs. Some experts have seen couples spend $200,000 over their struggle for a $1.5 million estate. This includes the fees over legal representation which can add up over time. There are other costs involved, such as those associated with splitting a retirement account if it isn’t handled properly. Another asset that might prove costly is the settlement over the family home. A home can be expensive to maintain, and that needs to be considered before choosing to fight for it in exchange for other assets.

Preparing for a gray divorce involves being very educated about the couple’s true financial status. Each person should be knowledgeable about what each asset is worth. Each should also have separate legal representation when attempting to negotiate a settlement.