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Divorce issues for older couples different than for the young

Friday, January 19, 2018

People over 50 are separating more regularly than in the past, a phenomenon commonly called "gray divorce." However, the question of why this is happening is only now being addressed. One of the divorce issues most commonly cited as a facilitator for gray divorce is personal finance, which may surprise Texas residents. While younger couples lack the financial stability to strike out on their own, older couples often do not face such challenges. 

The baby boomer generation is typically financially stable after years of accruing marital assets, including retirement plans. Once children have grown and left home, and, with the pressure of financial security alleviated, more and more individuals of this age are refusing to live the rest of their lives in unsatisfying marriages. This could be a major contributor to the phenomenon of gray divorce. 

The average person can expect to live considerably longer than their parents' generation, suggesting that longer life spans may be causing older people to reconsider decisions to stay in unhappy marriages. It is important for both parties to understand the implications of how their marital assets will be divided. Too often, assets like retirement funds are not viewed equally, and the result is an unbalanced division of assets. 

When both individuals understand their financial situations when approaching a separation, the number of divorce issues facing the older generation is considerably less when compared to the younger generation. Texas residents approaching retirement age might well view divorce as a gateway to a new life. With 20 or 30 years of life often remaining after retirement age, divorce has the capacity to make the golden years truly shine. 

Source: philly.com, "Financial security pushes couples to divorce court", Erin E. Arvedlund, Aug. 9, 2015

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