The Gray Revolution: Divorce After 50

A study from Bowling Green University found the divorce rate for couples over age 50 doubled in recent years. If you are thinking about separation or divorce, what do you need to consider?

Whether married for two years or 20, people divorcing near or after midlife have a lot to think about. In their research, sociologists at Bowling Green State University made interesting points about gray divorce that include:

  • As they age, baby boomers continue to challenge norms, including the expectation that marriages, even if they are unhappy ones, should stay intact for the life of the parties.
  • With the better health and greater longevity of the times, more individuals are opting out of unsatisfying relationships in favor of independence and the possibility of new, more satisfying intimate connections.
  • With more financial independence, middle-aged and older women are more likely to end a marriage, a change from earlier decades when men called it quits more often.

Concerns to take into consideration

There are unique concerns for those thinking about divorce closer to retirement, including;

  • Understand your expenses: With a greater likelihood of living on a limited or fixed income in the near future, understand your budget and financial needs before negotiating agreements with your spouse. If you have not been primarily involved in household finances during your marriage, now is the time for you to get clear on what goes on with the money.
  • Consider consequences: Be sure to work with a legal or financial expert who has knowledge about the tax and long-term consequences of asset, debt and property division. Ask questions and get informed about Social Security benefits and how they apply in your case.
  • Keep it civil: It is in the best interest of the spouses to work together to equitably divide their assets and property. At older ages, it is imperative that wealth is spent on a secure future, not on legal fees. Try mediation or the collaborative divorce process to keep fees and conflict low.

When thinking about divorce in New York, talk to an experienced divorce attorney or collaborative divorce attorney committed to helping you move successfully into the next season of your life.

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