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The Rise Of The “Gray Divorce”: Why Is It Happening, And What Financial Considerations Are Important?


In the last 25 years, the number of “gray divorces”—i.e. those after the age of 50—have skyrocketed. One in four people divorcing is 50 years or older, and this group has more than doubled, and more than half of these couples have been married for more than 20 years.

Why is this the case? This may surprise you, but it isn’t that couples suddenly find each other boring, or are unfaithful, but simply that they’ve found that they’ve grown apart (amongst a variety of other factors). A number of couples rationalize staying together even though they are unhappy for the sake of their kids, until they realize that they simply cannot endure it any longer.

Factors Likely Causing Late-In-Life Divorces

The increase in divorces later in life is also likely to due to a number of other factors, including:

  • The stigma of divorce disappearing over time;
  • People are living longer, making the prospect of staying in an unhappy relationship more daunting;
  • Women are making economic gains such that they do not necessarily have to choose between marriage and poverty;
  • Online dating is becoming increasingly popular and acceptable, providing many with the feeling that they can find a better match online; and
  • Seniors are not only living longer, but engaging in more activities, such as traveling.

Financial Considerations Later In Life

Still, divorcing later in life is very different from divorcing in your 20s, 30s, and even 40s, as people who have been married longer tend to have more assets and lager retirement accounts. In addition, the following financial issues should be taken into account:

  • If you have been married for 10 years or longer, this tends to have implications for alimony, especially if you have been in a long-term marriage;
  • Retirement finances are usually cut in half, but make sure that you work with an experienced divorce attorney in figuring this out so that you have a clear picture of any and all tax implications;
  • One of the most important assets we consult with our clients over is the family home. Any decision for one person to keep the family home must first be well-vetted with your attorney in order to ensure that you can afford it over the long-haul; and
  • If you contemplate getting remarried, think about a prenuptial agreement first. The later in life the marriage comes, the more financial matters you will likely want to address up front.

Contact Our Florida Divorce Attorneys to Find Out More

If you are obtaining a gray divorce, do not take any risks when it comes to planning for your future—contact our experienced Palm Beach Gardens divorce attorneys at the office of William Wallshein, P.A. today to help advise you through the process.




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