As the phenomenon of gray divorce continues to increase, Texas residents who are 50 or older might have to face the challenges that divorcing later in life can bring. With gray divorce increasing to 1 in 4 in 2010 from 1 in 10 in 1990, the financial outcomes of these marriages breaking up can be very difficult to overcome.
According to experts, the reason why gray divorce has such a financial impact is because people have less time to rebuild their savings when their marriages come to an end. After a gray divorce, household wealth for both spouses can drop by as much as 50% with older divorced women suffering financially much more than women who remain in a marriage. Each person then finds him or herself having to cover all household expenses on his or her own. This decline in wealth is the result of a variety of things, such as not being able to make up the amount lost from retirement benefits due to time or struggling to find a job after age 50. To complicate matters even more, individuals who divorce in their 50s or later tend to have older children who might be college-aged and still need their parents' support. Therefore, the split can also affect them and any grandchildren.
However, there are some more positive aspects of gray divorce. Generally, older couples have also accumulated more wealth by the time they divorce with the men having $165,000 more than younger men and women having over $50,000 more than younger women. Additionally, gray divorce is also less common as only 11% of couples get divorced after age 50.
When it comes to gray divorce, careful planning during the process is important. The assistance of a lawyer with family law experience can be helpful since he or she may help his or her clients design negotiation strategies focused on financial stability and well-being post-divorce.