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Grey Divorce on the Rise

The older divorced couple

Over recent years, divorce rates across the country have been declining, except for divorces among one select group: people over 50. According to one study, 25% of all those going through a divorce are over 50 and 10% are over 64. Below, learn about why divorce rates are on the rise among those entering their senior years and the issues that older divorcées should consider.

What are the reasons for a later-in-life divorce?

The causes of rising divorce rates among those over 50 are not entirely clear. Some social experts suggest that those over 50 were raised to see marriage as a lifelong commitment by a generation that largely resisted divorce. As they’ve grown older, this social norm has faded, resulting in a greater willingness to end a marriage that isn’t working out. Additionally, it is at age 50+ when children have grown and begun to leave the home. Some couples don’t realize until they’re left to their own devices that they have little in common without children to raise or are no longer motivated to try and make a difficult relationship work when the kids aren’t at home. Another suggested reason is the lengthening lifespan of the average American. Even if marital discord doesn’t arise until later in life, couples aren’t willing to spend 20 or 30 years, many of which will be active, with someone they don’t love.

Divorce at older ages requires special considerations

While divorce is available to anyone, splitting from a long-term spouse involves more complex considerations for those over 50. Many such couples have spent a lifetime planning together for their retirement. These spouses should keep the preservation of their retirement funds front of mind when going through a split. For instance, rather than opt for personal property in the division of assets, you may want to elect a larger share of investment accounts or retirement funds. A financial planner can help you determine how much you should expect to need in savings to retire, and a skilled attorney can craft a request for spousal support that supports these needs. If you’ve long shared a house with your spouse, keep in mind that maintaining an older home on your own can require a great deal of work that you may not be able to do on your own. It may be time to sell it to move to something more manageable, rather than try and hang onto the home through a split.

If you’re facing divorce at an older age in Kentucky, prepare for this major step by speaking with an experienced Louisville family law attorney from John H. Ruby & Associates at 502-895-2626.