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Colgan Law Firm LLC
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The financial fallout of gray divorce

More people in Kansas and across the country are choosing to divorce later in life. In the past 20 years, divorces involving couples aged 50 and up have more than doubled nationwide. In 1990, only 10% of people seeking divorces were over 50, but a full one-quarter of divorcing spouses were over 50 by 2010. There are a number of reasons for these changes, including the fact that people who are more socially comfortable with divorce are now older. In addition, people are more likely to divorce in second or later marriages; not all of these divorces involve long-standing couples.

The financial considerations associated with divorce are always significant. Financial issues can linger on long after the emotional and practical issues have been sorted out. These can be particularly important for people who are older when they decide to divorce. This is especially true when long-time marriages are coming to an end as the adjustment to changes in lifestyle can be challenging. In addition, people will need to prepare for a significant cut in their retirement savings as their plans are divided since it costs more to finance individual retirements than a shared lifestyle.

Individual household wealth can go down by 50% if a long-time couple divorces. For women who divorce, this is especially true if they spent a long time working as homemakers or staying home with the children. There is less time to recover from these financial changes and dedicate extensive funds to retirement savings.

However, many older people who divorce also start out from a better financial position and thus may be able to cope with the changes better than at a younger age. A family law attorney may advise a divorcing spouse of any age about reaching a fair settlement on property division, spousal support and related matters.

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