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Why Are More And More People Getting “Gray Divorces”? What about Financial Considerations This Late In Life?


Just in the last 25 years, the divorce rate for Americans over the age of 50 has more than doubled. That translates to one out of every four Americans, where more than half of all gray divorces are between people who have been more for over 20 years. So why is this happening, all of a sudden?

Most of these divorces involve people who have raised children, been together for decades, and aren’t splitting because they are bored with or cheating on each other, but have simply grown apart and want to go it alone. Still, it is helpful to know why these types of divorces might be on the rise, and the pertinent financial considerations that should be taken into account.

Why It Is Happening

Some believe the increase in gray divorces could be due to raised expectations—i.e. that people expect more fulfillment and happiness today than they did 60 years ago. However, it is likely due to a number of other factors such as:

  • The stigma of divorce is disappearing;
  • People are living longer, making the thought of staying in a loveless relationship more daunting;
  • The ability for women to make their own living is on the rise such that they do not necessarily have to choose between poverty and a bad marriage;
  • The increasing popularity of online dating, which makes many feel like they can meet someone better suited for them; and
  • More senior citizens are meeting due to increased longevity and engaging in more activities, such as travel.

Financial Considerations

Below are some of the important financial considerations to take into account when it comes to gray divorces:

  • Alimony is not only more likely to be granted if you have been married for at least 10 years, for long-term marriages, alimony is sometimes provided for life;
  • Regardless of what caused the divorce, retirement plans are usually cut in half;
  • Make sure that the decision as to whether you want to keep the house is first discussed with your attorney so that you make sure you can afford it and do not become “house poor”;
  • Strongly consider a prenuptial agreement before you consider getting remarried; and
  • Note that the strategy of coordinating your social security claiming strategy to maximize benefits during your lifetime and create the largest possible survivor benefit for the last surviving spouse can actually backfire in the context of a gray divorce.

Contact Our Florida Divorce Attorneys to Find Out More

If you live in Florida and are considering or just have questions about gray divorces, contact our experienced divorce attorneys at Arwani Law Firm, PLLC to find out more. We’ve worked with a number of clients who felt more empowered to move onto the next step of their lives as a result of their divorce, but you want to make sure you consult with an experienced attorney so that you take every important consideration into account in the process.




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