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Gray Divorces: On the Rise

Gray Divorces Are Becoming More Common

Divorce is not a decision that is ever made lightly. Typically, however, we think of couples who have weathered the ups and downs of a long marriage as being on very solid ground – and not in danger of divorcing. In reality, however, people are entering into late-life divorces – or gray divorces – more and more often. Divorce is always difficult, and a gray divorce comes with its own unique set of financial complications.

Gray Divorce: The Statistics

Gray divorces have become increasingly more common, and a 2017 Pew Research Center study outlines the relevant statistics:

  • In 1990, 5 people out of every 1,000 married people who were aged 50 and older divorced.

  • In 2015, 10 people out of every 1,000 married people who were aged 50 and older divorced.

  • A little more than a third of those aged 50 and older who divorced in 2015 had been married for more than 30 years.

The divorce rate for people who are younger than 50 remains about double that of people who are aged 50 and older.

Contributing Factors

While it is not clear why gray divorces have risen so precipitously, there are some factors that are considered contributive:

  • People have longer life expectancies, and many express a desire to live life to the fullest, which can include leaving a lackluster marriage.

  • There is less social stigma attached to divorce than there once was, and older divorcing couples are likely influenced by the fact that gray divorces are becoming more and more common.

Whatever the reason behind this trend, it is important to recognize the unique complications that are associated with these late-in-life divorces.

Associated Financial Risks

Divorcing later in life can have highly significant financial implications, including an increased risk of living in poverty in one’s senior years. This is especially true for homemakers who have not worked outside the home (who are more prevalent in this age group). It is exceedingly difficult to break into the work world after decades of absence. Couple this with the fact that fewer Americans are able to save enough for retirement, and the financial situation becomes even more precarious.

Those Most Vulnerable

Homemakers are the most vulnerable to the financial dangers of divorce after 50. Homemakers not only lack careers and career paths but are also left without retirement plans to augment any spousal maintenance they might receive. Even when homemakers have only left the workforce for a few years, they are still more vulnerable to the financial instability associated with gray divorce.

If You Are Facing a Late-Life Divorce, Consult with an Experienced Central Texas Family Law Attorney Today

Divorce is always difficult, and gray divorce is more difficult still. Attorney Brett H. Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Central Texas understands the financial difficulties associated with gray divorce, and he is dedicated to helping you. Mr. Pritchard has the experience, skill, and commitment to aggressively advocate for the best possible resolution to your divorce. For more information, please contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.

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