The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC Legal Blog

Gray divorce three times as common as it was 40 years ago

Texas couples who are having issues within their marriage might consider getting a divorce. This can present many challenges as they decide what to do and if the marriage is truly over. For couples 55 and older – people who would be getting a so-called “gray” divorce – there are unique concerns they must address. Often, these are high-asset divorces. With that will be financial factors such as property division and spousal support. Given the litany of elements in a gray divorce, being legally protected is critically important.

According to statistics, gray divorce has spiked in the last 40 years. Experts say that people whose children have left the house and find themselves unhappy in their lives might want something else while they are still at an age where they can find joy. Because life expectancy has improved, those 60 and older feel they can live for up to 30 more years. This breeds soul-searching and might spark a divorce.

Ironically, divorce has plummeted overall with a 29% reduction from 1979 to 2017. For people at least 55, divorce is three times as high as it was then. Out of every 1,000 marriages in that age range, 15 end in divorce. Those 65 and older have five divorces for every 1,000 marriages.

There are varying circumstances in these divorces such as people who got married at a young age and decided late in life to divorce, and people who are in a second marriage. Notably, second marriages have a higher prevalence of divorce than first marriages. In addition, whereas there were once negative connotations related to divorce with family members, friends, employers and religious institutions, that is generally no longer the case.

When an older couple gets divorced and there are major assets involved such as a business, a marital home, vacation properties, automobiles, stocks, retirement accounts and collectibles, acrimony is common. Determining how these will be divided, if support should be paid and its duration are all sources of disagreement in a high-asset divorce. After deciding to divorce, it is wise to consider the legal ramifications and how to handle them. Consulting with a legal professional experienced in family law may be beneficial.

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