On the whole, the U.S. divorce rate has been dropping for decades. Younger couples often choose to put off marriage and cohabitate and thus get divorced less than they used to. Even middle-aged parents are less apt to divorce than they once did.
The one group that has an ever-increasing divorce rate is the 50+ age bracket. These separations are often called “gray” divorces. There’s been a dramatic uptick in their divorces in recent years.
Why are spouses 50 and over increasingly divorcing?
Statisticians could point to many reasons for this increase, but, likely, it’s primarily attributable to changing social attitudes about divorce. Many older couples may have wanted to divorce 20 or 30 years ago. While they could have, technically speaking, the social stigma around divorce kept them from doing it. Some analysts believe that couples finally feel free to do as they wish now that people understand that divorce is common and often better for them than staying together.
What impact may an uptick in divorce have on individuals 50+
Couples belonging to this age group tend to have more assets and more wealth. They are saving for retirement. Many of them are business owners. They own their own homes. They have investments.
A young couple may not have barely anything to split up, while older couples may have millions of dollars worth of assets. This difference in assets makes the whole property division process far more complex for individuals 50 or older than for others.
If you and your spouse are thinking about getting a divorce this year, it’s very important to understand all of the legal options that you have. You must protect your assets and plan for your future.