When couples divorce after age 50, it’s called a “gray divorce.” Since this term only recently came into use, there are things you may not know it. While it’s impossible to cover every detail in this article, we will look at five things you didn’t know about gray divorce.
The Gray Divorce Rate Has Increased
Divorce among U.S. adults has actually decreased for younger generations. However, the divorce rate for the 50 and older set
has approximately doubled since the 1990s. The divorce rate for people over age 65 has almost tripled during the same time frame.
Longer Life Expectancy Is an Issue
This may be one of the most surprising facts about gray divorce. As some people reach their 50s, they take stock of their lives. If they are in reasonably good health, they may live for several decades. For some, longer life expectancy
means more time with a spouse who makes them unhappy. Gray divorce can bring people the freedom they need to discover what will make them happy.
Gray Divorce Is More Common the Second Time Around
In general, people who have been divorced once may be more likely to divorce
again. Baby boomers were more likely to divorce than preceding generations. As baby boomers reach age 50 and beyond, their prior marital history may catch up with them, leading to a gray divorce.
Retirement Plans May Be Affected
Whether the parties are retired already or still working, retirement plans often change
due to the termination of their marriage. A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) may give one spouse part of the other spouse’s retirement funds. Spousal support, if ordered, may cut into the amount of money the payer planned to save for their golden years. One or both parties may enter retirement with less money than they had planned on, including Social Security retirement benefits.
Adult Children May Be Upset
Few gray divorcees have to worry about child support and visitation. However, they still need to understand the effect divorce has on children. Even adult children
may feel a sense of loss and a need for reassurance from their parents. Divorce can damage relationships between adults and their parents at any age.
Gray Divorce or Not, You’ll Need Help
Talk to an experienced California divorce attorney today. Please call us at (415) 293-8314 to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our attorneys.
Ms. Burger is a California Certified Family Law Specialist and founder of the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger. We assist clients in California’s Northern to Central Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Gold River, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities.