Leisure Time and the Impact on Gray Divorce
Over the past half a century, the stigma around divorce has begun to lessen as couples become more and more accepting of their individuality and personal needs. For a long time, the elderly seemed to push against divorce trends, and many of us would applaud older couples for sticking together for so long. However, it seems that the divorce rate has finally started to catch up with seniors, which may have serious financial ramifications for them.
A Rise in Senior Divorce
While we all want to believe that love lasts forever, divorce has become an everyday occurrence, with many couples quietly understanding that it is a real possibility for them. In addition to the end of this stigma, new research has shown seniors are also becoming more accepting of divorce. When compared to previous years, the average number of adults older than 50 getting divorced doubled, according to a study in The Journals of Gerontology.
While the researchers note that younger couples are twice as likely to get divorced, the rise in divorces among seniors has been steadily growing with only a handful of plateaus, suggesting that this could become the new norm. Another report by the University of Minnesota backs up this concept, arguing that the divorce rate over the past few decades never officially dropped, only stabilized, as younger couples saw a drop in divorces while couples over 35 saw an increase. Thus, this rise in divorce among older demographics might still be balanced out by the drop in divorce among millennials, as noted by a study by the University of Maryland.
Causes of Gray Divorce
Divorces and breakups can arise from several factors no matter the age of the couple, but gray divorces tend to have common causes. Older couples tend to have more leisure time as they begin to retire, which may result in further introspection. They may determine that after years of hard work and devotion to a marriage, that they are just not happy and need a major change to find that joy they’ve always wanted. Others start to see cracks in their relationship that are hard to rectify given their age and instead choose to separate in order to figure out their future.
In addition to their personal developments, seniors may feel like they have little in common as they get older. Many couples hold off on counseling or attending to their relationships as they focus on their careers, taking care of a household, and raising children. When it comes time to retire, they might feel like they’re living with a stranger.
However gray divorce comes about, it can be a costly affair. Despite the belief that 50% of marriages end in divorce, very few couples prepare with a pre-nuptial or even post-nuptial agreement. Thus, when they do get married, they have to go through the complicated process of dividing up marriage assets. This is especially difficult for seniors, as they likely never kept track of who paid for what. Add in how complicated retirement funds and alimony can be, and they could be facing severe financial consequences if their divorce is handled poorly.
That is why it is important to discuss your case with a knowledgeable and experienced San Diego divorce lawyers. Gray divorces, while often lacking issues like child custody and visitation, still have many burdens for the divorcees to deal with, especially when it comes to the law. At Huguenor Mattis, A.P.C., our legal team has decades of experience and has worked with clients of all ages and demographics to achieve amicable solutions. To learn if we are the right fit for you, call us at (858) 458-9500 and schedule a free consultation.