There has been much discussion in family law circles about the rise of so-called “gray divorce.” It is noteworthy because couples over 50 years are the only demographic where the numbers continue to rise.
Divorce may be the right decision, but women involved in gray divorce nevertheless have to be especially careful even if the initial settlement appears to be fair and equitable. According to Bloomberg, divorce is generally a significant financial setback for couples over 50, but women. Explanations for this include:
- Job prospects: Those who have been out of the workforce for long periods of time raising a family have difficulty reentering the job market, particularly for higher-paying positions.
- Standard of living: This plunges by 45%, which is twice the amount of previous studies on younger women. Explanations for this phenomenon include that there is less time and fewer tools to recover from this financial setback.
- Highest rate of poverty at retirement age: It is estimated 27% of divorced women over the age of 63 live below the poverty line (as opposed to 11% of men).
- Fewer spouses available for remarriage: Remarrying can raise the standard of living, but it is also harder for heterosexual women to find a new male spouse as men choose younger wives and die on an average of five years earlier than women.
- Social Security: This was supposed to keep seniors out of poverty, but spouses need to be married at least ten years to gain access to these and some other benefits.
- Insurance: The wife loses coverage if it is through her husband’s employment.
Preparing for the future
In light of these developments, it is advisable that women work with an experienced Board-certified Family Law expert attorney in Collin County, Denton County, Dallas County, Midland County, Ector County or elsewhere throughout Texas. While there are specific guidelines for dividing assets in a divorce, these legal professionals can fight to ensure that the settlement addresses concerns expressed here as well as issues unique to the couple.