While the number of overall divorces in America is on the decline, surprisingly, divorce rates for older couples are increasing. According to a study conducted by Bowling Green State University in Ohio, researchers found that, on average, the divorce rates for those over age 50 doubled between 1990 and 2010. Referred to as "gray divorces," the study found that the dissolution of marriage between older couples is occurring nearly equally between those in their first marriage previous divorcees. But why is this the case?
While the study only examines the raw data, experts suggest that the increasing rate of gray divorce may be caused by numerous factors, most notably the reduction in negative social stigmas that have traditionally surrounded the once taboo subject of divorce. While divorce can be an incredibly emotional and complex ordeal for couples of any age, there are certain areas that require special attention in a gray divorce.
Gray divorcees should consider the following factors:
- Complex finances: Couples who have been together for decades tend to have much more complex financial assets than younger couples, including social security, retirement accounts, investments, and financial securities which can complicate the process of asset distribution. As such, it is highly recommended that older couples hire a forensic accountant to ensure all assets are discovered and accounted for.
- Dividing assets: The amount of time, energy, and money that older couples have put into acquiring their assets throughout the course of their lives, particularly regarding the family home, can be overwhelming. It is imperative that older couples work to develop a strategy as soon as possible to divide these assets in a non-confrontational manner.
- Inheritances: Since children in gray divorces will likely have left the family home long ago or are getting ready to leave, child custody is rarely an issue. Conversely, couples in gray divorces are often concerned with preserving inheritances for their children and providing them with continued financial support.
- Spousal support: One of the greatest financial considerations that impacts gray divorcees revolves around spousal maintenance, also known as "alimony." Alimony awards are typically larger and last longer if couples have been married for a lengthy period of time, making it crucial that older couples plan for this likelihood.
Divorcing? Contact Springer Law Firm PLLC
While nobody wants to think about the possibility of their marriage falling apart, divorce can sometimes be the best course of action to allow couples to move forward. If you are currently divorcing or sense that a divorce may be approaching, contact the knowledgeable advocates at Springer Law Firm PLLC. Having been representing the rights of clients throughout Katy, Texas since 1980, our divorce lawyers can provide the compassionate and strong legal guidance you need to help you get through this emotional time as smoothly as possible.
Call (281) 990-6025 or contact us today to discuss your situation in detail.