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Divorce is on the Rise for Couples in Their Golden Years

The Micklin Law Group- Divorce is on the Rise for Couples in Their Golden Years

A “golden years divorce,” also known as a gray divorce, used to be rare. In fact, the 50+ demographic was once least likely to end their marriage. Now the tables have turned: they’re the only age group that is seeing an increase in divorce rates. So, what is a gray divorce? It’s a divorce that is often initiated once spouses are nearing retirement. This means they face additional financial challenges when they end their marriage.

When the Gold Becomes Tarnished

Psychologists and relationship experts are still trying to figure out why gray divorce continues to rise, but we have several theories about the conditions that may contribute to a later-in-life divorce. First, we’ve seen middle-aged and older folks seize more opportunities than in generations before. Our culture has the attitude that, “50 is the new 40,” which means many of us are staying fit longer and enjoying more vigorous activities. More opportunity means more choices, so some couples are bound to choose divorce when they want different things out of life. After all, divorce after 40 years of marriage may seem daunting to some, but others will see it as an opportunity to put themself first.

Another common reason for gray divorce may be that women feel they have more opportunities to be independent. Statistically, women in this age group are more likely than men to file for divorce. Many of these women took time off of their career to be a stay-at-home-mom or homemaker for the last several decades. Now that it’s more socially accepted for women to pursue a career and be financially independent, these wives and moms realize they can support themselves if they do get a divorce. The fear of financial ruin may have kept them in an unhappy marriage for years, but that is no longer a concern for many.

Challenges of A Golden Years Divorce for Men

As if the tricky nature of gray divorce wasn’t bad enough, men who are going through one also face gender-specific challenges. Since men are less likely to file for a divorce at this age, they are more likely to be taken off-guard when their wife serves them papers. A man may not have had time to wrap his head around how his finances may change because of the divorce. Men who are 50+ years old are also more likely to have been the primary breadwinner for their family over the years, so they often worry about gray divorce alimony and other circumstances that may feel inequitable. 

If you’re facing a divorce in your golden years, a divorce lawyer for men can help you navigate all the legal challenges. An attorney with experience handling gray divorces understands all the components that must be considered, from substantial retirement accounts to social security benefits. The Micklin Law Group’s attorneys have worked with many men and fathers to resolve their gray divorce in a manner that leaves them financially stable and ready to begin the next phase of their life.

Contact our gray divorce attorneys to get started.

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