The rate of divorce for American over the age of 50 has been steadily increasing over the past two decades. There are a number of factors that have been contributing to the rising number of these so-called “gray divorces.”
The most common issue to arise in a gray divorce is financial management. Finances can be a complicated issue if one spouse has difficulty with managing money. A divorce tends to be likely in situations when couples are overwhelmed by debt or are continuously fighting about money.
Divorce also becomes a likely possibility if one spouse is the only income-earner and is responsible for all the financial decisions in the marriage. If a spouse mismanages money or tends to overspend frequently, the marriage may fail.
According to research, marriages tend to grow stronger if the husband’s earnings increases. In contrast, marriages in which the wife’s earnings outpace the husband’s tend to deteriorate. This may be due to some husbands’ views toward being the breadwinner.
Another reason the number a gray divorces continues to rise is that many spouses are growing apart. Older married couples may realize that they no longer have the excitement for the marriage that they had when they were first married. Divorce is often seen as a better alternative to remaining in an unhappy marriage.
An attorney who practices family law may help an older client obtain fair divorce settlement terms. Legal counsel could provide advice about what unique issues may arise during a gray divorce and what legal avenues should be attempted to protect certain interests. If necessary, litigation might be used to address disputes regarding the ownership of the family home and the division of retirement assets.