If you are in your 50s or older and considering a divorce, you are not alone. According to a study recently published by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, the number of couples calling it quits later in life (a so-called “grey” or “silver” divorce) is on the rise. In fact, while overall divorce rates have remained relatively steady since the early 1990s, the divorce rate among spouses age 50 and above has doubled over the same time period. Among senior citizens age 65 and over, the increase has been even more substantial.

So, why the increase in “grey” divorces?

Factors Contributing to Increase in “Grey” Divorces

According to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, there are a number of different factors that may all help explain the steady increase in the later-life divorce rate. Some of these factors include:

  • More Second and Third Marriages – Older individuals are more likely to be in second and subsequent marriages, and statistics show that these marriages are more likely than first marriages to end in divorce.
  • Increased Life Expectancy – As the average life expectancy in the United States has increased, older spouses who are dissatisfied with their marriages may be more willing go through a divorce in order to pursue a more fulfilling relationship.
  • Increased Focus on Personal Fulfillment – Along with the increase in life expectancy, older Texans are increasingly finding themselves in search of greater satisfaction later in life. Staying in the marriage for the sake of the marriage itself is not the priority it once was, and today more individuals are placing greater emphasis on finding personal fulfillment and satisfaction.
  • Empowerment of Women Later in Life – A New York Times article discussing the study states that, “perhaps the biggest reason for the increase in late-life divorce is the changing status of women, who initiate about 60 percent of divorces after age 40, according to AARP.” As more women are feeling empowered to take control of their personal circumstances, more are making the decision to file for divorce.

Special Considerations When Pursuing a Later-Life Divorce

If you are considering a divorce later in life, it is important to plan accordingly. Getting divorced later in life presents some unique considerations – considerations that should not dissuade you from filing for divorce, but that you need to address up front so that you can set yourself up for a post-divorce life that is as fulfilling as possible. These considerations include things like:

  • What will your personal finances look like after your divorce?
  • Will you be entitled to receive (or required to pay) alimony?
  • Will you have access to retirement savings after your divorce (and if so how much)?
  • What impact will your divorce have on your estate plan?
  • What assets are yours to keep, and which are subject to equitable distribution in your divorce?

Are You Considering a “Grey” Divorce in McKinney, TX? Contact Nordhaus Walpole PLLC Today

If you live in the McKinney, TX area and are considering a later-life divorce, we invite you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. To speak with one of our experienced divorce lawyers in confidence, please call (214) 726-1450 or contact us online today.