Some people call it “gray divorce,” the increasing pattern of divorce for older couples. It can be the end of an era or the start of something new. But, divorcing after years of marriage presents special problems for the couple, family, and advising divorce attorney.
Why Do People Divorce Late in Life?
Writing for Pew Research, Renee Stepler finds, “Divorce rate for adults ages 50 and older has roughly doubled in the last 25 years.” But, why?
- Fatigue: Lengthy marriages don’t collapse because of a single event. Divorce is the natural conclusion to a long process of growing dissatisfaction with the partnership.
- Brain Change: Some people age at different paces. They may handle the psychological and biological changes differently. They experience midlife crises that put them on diverging paths.
- Dull: Long life with the same person is a joy for some. For others, it slowly gets old, predictable, and dull.
- Retirement: People hope to retire with some comfort and security. But, it can also accentuate differences in attitudes to savings and spending.
- Sex: Sex drive and sexual preferences change over time. Most couples reach some personal compromise on their sex lives; many cannot.
AARP suggests, “A typical scenario is where a husband and wife live increasingly different lives: He gets more and more into his work, she gets more and more into her children, her adult children, her grandchildren. Or, she gets ambitious, and he wants to relax, cut down, travel, and play golf.”
What’s the Problem with Gray Divorce?
- Social Security: A legal separation or divorce cannot divide Social Security benefits. And, how social security handles your assets takes understanding.
- Living Cheaply: Living separately does not save money. Keeping separate residences, doubling insurance, two cars, and more needs double the cost.
- Tax Problems: Retirement funds often depend on tax-favored investments or financial plans. Divorce means changing your tax filing status to the disadvantage of one partner or the other.
- Change of Residence: Breaking up the house to divide the asset can be a devastating emotional experience.
- Last Will: Divorce requires the refilling of wills, living trusts, insurance policies, powers of attorney, and other documents affecting the divorcing partners and their heirs.
What to do About Divorce for Older Couples
Although there are complications like those listed here, divorce may be a positive choice for older couples. Assuming the couple has sought couples counseling and attempted reconciliation, divorce can be the only reasonable decision.
A compassionate and empathetic divorce attorney in Fort Worth will start by recommending professional help if there is any chance to salvage the marriage or find alternatives to litigations.
You must consider your financial situation before an after the divorce, the inevitable changes in your lifestyle, and the reality of future income.
The Law Office of Wendy L. Hart
Wendy L. Hart understands divorce is one of life’s most trying experiences. As one of the Fort Worth area’s most experienced divorce lawyers, Wendy provides her clients with the facts needed to make informed decisions. She zealously defends the rights of her clients and shepherds people experiencing a divorce in Texas through the emotionally tumultuous process. If you have questions regarding divorce or conservatorship in Texas, reach The Law Office of Wendy L. Hart through our website or by calling (817) 842-2336.