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Unique divorce issues faced in "gray divorce"

Monday, December 11, 2017

An interesting new study has suggested that not only are individuals choosing to divorce later in life, they are doing so after protracted marriages. Texas residents may be surprised to note that the prevalence of "gray divorce" does not limit itself to individuals on second or third marriages. This raises a unique set of divorce issues that will be faced by those who are entering their retirement years as recently single people. 

In the modern American landscape, which is already dominated by a nearly-50 percent divorce rate, the trend toward older people getting separated is on the rise.  Nearly 1 in 4 individuals over 50 are divorced, and almost 1 in 10 over the age of 65 are going through the same process. Even more interesting, the statistics don't change for individuals who are still on their first marriage -- many gray divorces involve individuals who have been married for 20 years or more. 

This brings up unique issues for the divorcees. As older people approaching retirement age, asset division at this stage in the game could severely curtail or otherwise influence their ability to retire based on a plan that counted on two pensions or other shared assets. A split this late in the game can have repercussions quite literally for the rest of that individual's natural life. 

Texas residents will agree that the golden years are meant to be enjoyed, and obviously staying in a failing marriage isn't anyone's idea of a good time. However, divorce issues unique to this age bracket cannot be ignored. It can be helpful to seek the support of professionals in determining the next steps following a gray divorce, and even during the process itself.

Source: The Washington Post, "Till Death Do Us Part? No way. Gray Divorce on the Rise", Brigid Schulte, Oct. 8, 2014

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