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Gray divorces are more common today: Here’s what to know

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2019 | Firm News

Going through a gray divorce is significantly different than going through a divorce in your younger years. In a gray divorce, you’re 50, 60 or 70 years old. You might be approaching retirement or be in retirement already.

A gray divorce can be difficult psychologically, too, considering the fact that many people who get them have been together for decades. With lifelong friends and family members to deal with, there’s no question that a gray divorce is complicated.

Since 1990, the gray divorce rate has doubled

The gray divorce rate is more common today, but it’s still less than the rate for couples under 50. Part of the reason there are so many gray divorces is because the Baby Boomers have not been as reluctant to go through divorce as other generations. In 2010, for instance, around 1 in 4 divorces involved people over the age of 50.

Those who have gone through divorces in the past are more likely to divorce, too, and it’s much more likely for those over 50 to have been married at least once before their current marriage. However, interestingly, wealth can help protect against divorce. Those without college degrees or a consistent job are more likely to divorce as they get older. This is likely a result of financial stress.

Another thing to consider is that marriages that survive decades often had cracks much earlier. For instance, someone who gets married because they’re “supposed to” in their late 20s might divorce in their 50s after their kids leave the nest. Someone who is festering resentment toward a spouse might be able to deal with it for several decades until the problem rears its head and they call it quits.

Regardless of the age when you choose to divorce, there will always be some issues you have to consider. One is that children will handle the divorce similarly regardless of age. Even adult children may have a hard time understanding why their parents would divorce so late in life. The grief that affects them may continue to affect you, too, even if your divorce is in your best interests.

With any gray divorce in Denver, working with someone with experience in this matter is essential. You have more to lose, and you do need to protect your financial security moving forward, especially if you are approaching retirement or don’t have a career to fall back on.

Photo of Attorney Phillip A. Geigle