If you have weathered the inevitable highs and lows of a marriage of many years, you may feel like you should be impervious to divorce. The fact is, however, that gray divorce – or divorcing in one’s later years – is on the rise. Because older couples generally have considerable assets that they have amassed together over the years, and because older couple’s finances are often more complicated, gray divorce can be even more challenging than more typical divorces. If you are facing divorce in the later stages of life, consult with a Chicago divorce lawyer today.
The Statistics of Gray Divorce
Gray divorces are becoming more and more common. In fact, a 2017 Pew Research Center study shares some significant statistics, including:
- The rate of people aged 50 and over who divorced doubled in the 15 years from 1990 to 2015 (from 5 out of 1,000 to 10 out of 1,000).
- In 2015, of those aged 50 and over who divorced, more than a third had been married for more than 30 years.
Why Gray Divorce?
It is not clear why it’s becoming more common for people to divorce in their 50s and beyond, but it could have something to do with people living longer in general and with people wanting to get the most out of life. Sometimes, this includes leaving an unsatisfactory marriage. Further, the social stigma generally associated with divorce has lessened over the years, and as gray divorce becomes more common, pursuing a divorce at an older age may seem less daunting than it once did. Divorce can also be common once the children leave home, as the parents may then realize they are not happy in the household anymore, or they waited to divorce until the kids were grown.
Financial Complications of Gray Divorce
Couples who have been married for decades have naturally intermingled nearly all of their assets and debts along the way. Further, these couples are closer to retirement, and financial instruments related to retirement tend to complicate the division of marital property. The fact that these instruments will be coming into play sooner rather than later makes the equitable division of marital property that much more important.
The financial risks of gray divorce can be very serious. This is especially true for women in traditional marriages in which they stayed home, raised the children, and took care of the household. It is often extremely difficult for these women to move forward and work outside the home in a manner that supports their way of life. For this reason, many gray divorces involve complex alimony determinations.
If You Are Facing a Gray Divorce, Consult with an Experienced Chicago Divorce Attorney Today
A gray divorce will often have unique financial complications, but the dedicated divorce lawyers at The Law Offices of George M. Sanders in Chicago have the experience, knowledge, and commitment to guide your case toward its most positive resolution. Your rights matter, and our dedicated legal team is here to help. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.