Gray divorce may be financially devastating

For people over the age of 50, the divorce rate has doubled since 1990. Unfortunately, the financial consequences of ending a marriage have also become especially pronounced among seniors. Even wealthy Tennessee residents can find the divorce process financially draining.

Spouses who split up after turning 50 are said to be going through the gray divorce phenomenon. This type of separation can be much harder on the parties than divorcing earlier in life. Part of the reason is that older people have less time to recover and rebuild.

According to research, people who divorce after 50 suffer depression at higher rates than those whose spouses have died. A paper published in 2009 indicated that people who are recently divorced have increased resting blood pressure. The financial stress can be even more severe than the physical and emotional stresses.

A survey of 20,000 people in the U.S. who were born before 1960 showed that those who divorce after age 50 can expect personal wealth to decrease by approximately 50%. The separation can be particularly difficult for women. The survey indicates that a divorced woman over 50 experiences an average standard-of-living drop of 45%. This is roughly double the fall for women who divorce at a younger age. For men over 50, research indicates that their standard of living drops 21% following a divorce.

Someone who is considering a divorce in Tennessee might want to speak with an attorney. A family law attorney might be able to help a client plan for the financial changes after a divorce. Legal counsel could also draft and file the petition for divorce or negotiate the terms of property division with the other party.

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