Elderly divorce rates have been increasing over the past few decades. Back in 1990, about 10 percent of people over the age of 50 filed for divorce. About a quarter of people over 50 file for divorce today, giving them the name of “grey divorcees.” What some people living in Texas might find surprising is that this is all happening against a backdrop of overall declining divorce rates in America.
Divorce at a later stage in life comes with its own set of challenges, both psychological and financial. After all, it is rarely easy to sever a relationship that has taken up a substantial portion of one’s life.
One of the main financial issues that arise pertains to the division of assets, particularly in cases of high-asset divorce. Even though splitting the wealth during a divorce is customary, it is still challenging to figure out how Social Security benefits should be distributed. Another issue could be splitting up the pension of the main breadwinner. Some couples going through a divorce may disagree on what assets were accumulated before the marriage and what assets were accumulated during; this distinction matters as it will decide which assets get split and which remain with their owner.
Another separate set of problems can be found if the couple has insurance. For example, if the dependent had health insurance thanks to their spouse’s job, this could change upon divorce, meaning that the dependent spouse may no longer have access to health insurance, a dangerous proposition at an advanced age. Similarly, if the couple had life insurance, the owner of the policy can cut out their soon-to-be ex-partner and remove them as beneficiaries, which only serves to complicate matters further.
Grey divorce doesn’t just affect the spouses; it also affects the people closest to them. Their children might find it difficult to adapt to this new dynamic, and they might hate feeling forced to take sides in extreme cases. Because of the many complicated issues involved, individuals might benefit from reaching out to an experienced attorney who can help them get through this time as smoothly as possible.