While divorce rates are steady or have dropped for most age groups, it is on the rise for people 50 and over. These divorces are not just between people in shorter second marriages. Older people in Texas who have been married for decades may be more likely to divorce than in previous generations.
Experts say there may be a number of reasons for this rise in divorce among older adults. The breakup of Al and Tipper Gore's marriage is one of example of a so-called "gray divorce" that did not occur because of infidelity or other serious issues. Some older couples may simply decide they are no longer fulfilled together and that they would be happier apart. There is less of a stigma associated with divorce than in the past, and with online dating available to all age groups, people may feel they have a better chance of meeting someone compatible. Women's increased economic independence may also be a factor.
However, there are a few financial realities older adults who are contemplating ending their marriage should keep in mind. Retirement savings may be split between the two. Alimony might be ordered by the court. The person who keeps the home should understand the costs associated with it.
A divorce at this stage of life might be an amicable one, and the couple may be able to negotiate the division of property instead of going to court. In a community property state like Texas, property is supposed to be divided equally, but a couple may decide instead that each will take certain assets of equal value. This might also be less expensive than going through litigation.