Getting married and then divorced is a common practice in Denver County, the U.S. and throughout the majority of Western culture. According to the American Psychological Association, more than 90 percent of people get married before they reach 50. However, the APA states that while marriage rates are high, so are divorce rates. Approximately 40 to 50 percent of marriages will eventually end in divorce.
Causes of gray divorces
While couples of all ages divorce, a recent study suggests that baby boomers, or those couples over the age of 50, are ending their marriages at unprecedented rates. According to a survey conducted by the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1600 of the members in this association were polled and over 61 percent of those surveyed stated that they had seen an increase in the number of divorces of couples over 50. In addition to this survey, research done by the National Center for Marriage and Family Research at Bowling Green State University states that the divorce rate for elderly couples has almost doubled in the past few years.
Also termed, a ” gray divorce,” there are a variety of reasons why baby boomers are choosing to split from their spouses. The causes of divorce in older couples may include:
- Not feeling connected to their spouse, especially after children have grown and left the home.
- Realizing that life is short and desiring to take a new path in life.
- Inability to cope with deteriorating health, caring for elderly parents and dealing with the loss of loved ones.
While a gray divorce may give elderly couples the chance to take a different path in life, it can also be more burdensome financially than if they were to divorce earlier in their marriage. This is because older divorcing couples are entering into a point in their lives where they rely on social security or their retirement funds to survive.
Although older couples have less time to recover financially than their younger divorced counterparts, they can do several things to ensure their financial security in the later years of their life after a divorce. Older divorcees should try and cut down their expenses or go back to work to rebuild their retirement savings. While many parents in their older years desire to help out their children financially, parents should be realistic about their financial situation and let go of any thoughts that they need to do things like pay for their daughter’s expensive wedding or help their children pay for their college education.
If you and your spouse are over the age of 50 and have decided to divorce, hire an attorney that can help your divorce go as smoothly as possible and protect your financial interests.
One way to control the outcome of the divorce process is to utilize the Collaborative Law Process. A primary goal of Collaborative Divorce is to keep the parties out of court while helping them focus on the mutually best resolution for both parties and the entire family. Collaborative Law allows the parties, rather than a judge or court facilitator, to manage the process with the assistance of highly trained family law attorneys. Having the attorneys focus on problem solving, rather than litigation provides both parties the best chance of managing the cost of the divorce process.