The Gray Divorce
Divorce after 50 is becoming more common as stereotypes around being divorced are changing. Individuals 50+ account for the largest amount of divorcees by age group.
Today, divorce rates amongst people ages 50+ are higher than divorce rates amongst millennials. Divorce after 50, otherwise known as the gray divorce, have the highest divorce rate out of any other age group. Since 1990 divorce rates amongst couples 50+ have doubled! All these factors play a role in the increase of gray divorces we are seeing:
Postponed divorces- many divorces that happen years down the road stem from parents waiting to divorce until their kids are older or in the hopes that their partner will change with time.
Change in divorce stigma- Separating from your partner or getting a divorce was once considered taboo. Today there isn’t as much of a stigma surrounding divorce and people’s happiness and quality of life is much more important.
Dissatisfaction- A common reason for splitting up in any age group is dissatisfaction in your marriage. Over time we all change and some people grow apart from their partner.
Life expectancy- On average we are living longer. Knowing that life expectancy has increased has inspired many to continue making the most out of their future chapters and want to enjoy where they are at in the moment. Couples don’t want to spend a long life in a marriage that isn’t working anymore and is causing them to be unhappy.
The stresses of life- Life doesn’t always get easier as time goes on. There will be ups and downs in many aspects of a person’s life whether it is with finances, personal situations, or things beyond our control like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Things to Consider if You Think a Gray Divorce is for You
Deciding your marriage has come to an end is a hard realization for anyone. Being older and wiser doesn’t always make going through a divorce easier. Getting divorced at an older age still comes with its own set of challenges. The first thing you need to consider is the outcome you want to see for yourself, then start thinking about your financial situation, health insurance, children, which type of divorce is best for you, and when you should consider hiring an attorney.
What is Best for You?
When people get married, they never imagine themselves getting divorced. Much less after many years have passed. Getting a divorce is major life change and for many people it is the end of a past life and beginning of a new one. Think about what the outcome you want from a divorce and what your future could look like, both positives and negatives.
Finances (income and retirement)
Getting divorced at an older age can come along with a unique set of financial considerations. If you have built a business together separating finances can be tricky having a good divorce attorney can make a huge difference. For some couples one partner has been the sole provider. While the partner that hasn’t been providing as much financially, they might still be eligible for spousal support. However, they will most likely need to think about ways to earn additional income and how they plan to handle their finances moving forward. You will also need to think about your retirement and how any combined accounts you have with your partner could be affected. Nebraska is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the marital property will be split between the spouses in a way that is just and reasonable, what that means will vary between couples.
Your Family and Children
Divorce is hard on everyone whether you are the couple going through it or not. Waiting till your children are older or for a better time doesn’t always make things easier. With things like divorce there isn’t such a thing as a “right time.” Although getting divorced later in life is becoming more common it doesn’t make it any less surprising to loved ones. Considerations like holiday schedules and time with family are important conversations to have and potentially documented.
Know Your Options
After considering all the above factors, educate yourself on what your divorce options are and which one is the best for your situation.
Mediated Divorce: A great option for anyone that is unable to come to an agreement with their spouse but would prefer to stay out of court.
Uncontested Divorce: When you and your spouse are able to come to a complete agreement in regard to finances and parenting time but feel more comfortable with the experience of a skilled attorney by their side when filing the necessary documents this is the best option. You do not need to appear in court.
Collaborative Divorce: This option is designed to be needs-based and addresses the emotional aspect of divorce, whereas the other two options do not. This requires both parties to get creative when coming to a final agreement.
Litigated Divorce: When parties can’t work together to come to an agreement and the case must be taken to court, having a highly skilled attorney is worth the expense.
Speak with an experienced divorce attorney who can help guide you through the process. Contact us at Nebraska Legal Group for a free case evaluation.