Why are more people filing for divorce after retirement?

The gray divorce trend explains how more couples over the age of 50 are filing for divorce after years of marriage.

Some people believe that older married couples are more likely to stay together forever. However, a phenomenon known as gray divorce is sweeping through California and across the nation. Statistics show that a record number of people over the age of 50 have chosen to file for divorce after decades of marriage. Researchers from Bowling Green University found that the divorce rate in this age group increased from one in 10 in 1990, to more than one in four in 2011, according to the New York Times. Why are more seniors dissolving their marriages and what implications does this have on their lives?

Factors leading to gray divorce

There are several reasons why a couple may choose to go their separate ways after being married for a great length of time. Couples who base their lives and relationships around their children or occupations may have difficulties relating to one another after the children have left the home and they retire. In some cases, couples may find that they no longer have anything in common or simply do not enjoy being around each other for extended periods of time. Since people are living longer and healthier lives after retirement, they are more likely to leave their unhappy relationship and find enjoyment somewhere else

In the past, people who were involved in a bad marriage may have been stuck in the situation due to financial concerns. Many people simply could not afford to file for divorce, and women who had stayed at home to raise the kids had no way of supporting themselves once the divorce was finalized. As more women have infiltrated the workforce, many have become more independent and are able to afford living on their own.

Things to consider

This independence does not mean, however, that there are not financial implications of living separate lives after sharing a combined income for so many years. Some people are forced to file for government assistance in order to make ends meet. Furthermore, going back to work after retirement can be difficult for seniors who suffer from physical and mental ailments. When filling for divorce after the age of 50, people may want to consider what types of marital assets they are entitled to in the divorce settlement. In addition to a portion of the home and vehicles, divorcees may receive a portion of their spouses' retirement benefits, Social Security, 401k plan, stocks, money market accounts and other financial investments that they have made over the years.

Speak to an attorney

It may be difficult to make financial and other life decisions when going through a divorce. Separating after years of marriage can be emotional, and you may find yourself seeking answers to some crucial questions regarding your divorce case. A family attorney in California may prove to be helpful, and may assist you in getting the financial assets and property that is rightfully yours in the settlement.