I’ve spoken to many men and women over the age of 50 that are seeking divorce—and are intimidated by the process. While divorce is never pleasant, it is far more challenging for older couples. In addition to emotional stress, the simple truth is that older couples typically have more in the way of financial assets that must be equitably distributed.
If you find yourself in that situation, I have a word of encouragement for you: You aren’t alone. As WWL.com reports:
The gray divorce revolution is taking over America, as people over 50 breakup at double the rate of 20 years ago according to government statistics.
This generation of empty-nesters seems to be doing things a little differently.
One in four of all divorces now involve people aged 50-64, and according to data compiled by AARP, the wives the ones initiating the breakups.
Dr. Martin Drell, Professor of Psychiatry at LSU Health Sciences Center says women today are much more independent financially. “They have the ability and the financial wherewithal to be able to live successfully alone.”
But divorce isn’t always the happy ending they had hoped for. “Many of the women who get divorced, especially the ones based on, ‘The problem in my life is my husband,’ very often they’re very unhappy.”
Dr. Drell says many of these failing marriages are second or third marriages, which suffer from an even higher divorce rate by 2.5 times. But “in some cases the spark just goes out of the marriage after years,” and there’s not a stigma around people divorcing any longer, or a mandate by society that they stay married after a certain age, which makes it easier to divorce.
Susan Brown, author of The Gray Divorce Revolution: Rising Divorce among Middle-aged and Older Adults, 1990-2009, says “Over 600,000 people ages 50 and older got divorced in 2009, but little is known about the predictors and consequences of divorces that occur during middle and later life.”
If you are considering divorce but are concerned about the financial fallout, I would be glad to help. Please feel free to contact me today!