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The Gray Divorcée: Single Life after 50

the senior couple divorcing

Many baby boomers grew up believing that divorce was shameful, even sinful, and something to be avoided at all costs. As cultural norms shifted and the taboo against divorce has faded, the rate of divorce among those over 50 has grown while divorce rates among other age groups has declined. Read on to learn more about the rise of the so-called “gray divorce,” and learn about special considerations for divorcing over age 50.

The rise in divorce rates among baby boomers

According to one survey, nearly one in every four divorces involves spouses who are over 50, and nearly one in every ten is over 64. One contributing factor to the high rate of divorce for those over 50 is that many of these are second or third marriages, which are statistically less likely to succeed long-term. However, one researcher has found that over half of these gray divorces are first marriages, and more than half are the end of marriages which had lasted 20 or more years.

The reasons for the uptick in divorces for those over 50? One factor is increasing life expectancies. Someone who is over 50 today can expect to live for another 30 years, on average. Vital and active people in their early 50s may not want to spend nearly half their lives with someone who does not make them feel fulfilled or share their interests. Additionally, many couples only discover that they don’t have much in common when their children grow up and leave the nest.

If you’re considering a later-in-life divorce, take heed of the following:

Keep your retirement in mind

Unfortunately, even amicable divorces can be costly. Taking on large expenses shortly before you plan to retire might mean that you’ll have to work slightly longer than you’d originally planned. Additionally, remember retirement when you’re in the process of dividing your marital assets with your spouse. While you want some of these assets to be liquid so that you can afford your post-divorce life, request a greater share of retirement and pension accounts than illiquid assets that might involve more expense than you can afford, like real estate.

Request a life insurance policy

If you will be receiving alimony in your divorce, request that the court require your spouse to have a life insurance policy with you listed as the beneficiary, to ensure you have a backup source of income should your spouse pass away unexpectedly.

For assistance with a late-in-life divorce in Kentucky, contact the dedicated and effective Louisville family law attorneys at Gwin, Steinmetz & Baird for a consultation on your case, at 502-618-5700.

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