Fabio & Merrill

What is a gray divorce?

If you and your longtime Texas spouse are heading for divorce after all these years, you have just become part of the gray divorce phenomenon. This is the nickname given to couples over 50 years old who divorce after a longstanding marriage.

Kiplinger reports the statistics with regard to gray divorces as follows:

  • Today, 25% of American divorces involve someone 50 years old or older.
  • In 1990, only 10% of divorces involved such an individual.
  • In more than half of today’s gray divorces, the couple’s marriage lasted for 20 or more years.
  • Gray divorce numbers continue to rise while the number of divorces by younger people continues to fall.

Gray divorce causes

While your own marital situation and reasons for divorce are unique to you and your spouse, researchers nevertheless attribute the rise in gray divorces to the following:

  • No moral or social stigmas attach to a divorce nowadays.
  • Couples have higher expectations today than they used to have regarding what a marriage should offer in terms of love, fulfillment, compatibility, etc.
  • As life expectancies have increased, acceptance of bad marriages has decreased.
  • Most women now have their own careers, making a bad marriage less economically necessary.
  • The astronomical rise in online dating, including for older adults, gives people hope that just because they are no longer young twenty-somethings does not mean that they have no hope of finding that “perfect someone” with whom to spend the rest of their lives.

Gray divorce considerations

Gray divorces are different than other divorces when it comes to economic considerations. For one thing, you and your spouse likely have accumulated numerous assets during the course of your marriage which you will need to divide 50/50 between the two of you since Texas is a community property state. For another, your respective retirement accounts and/or pensions likely represent a good portion of your marital assets. In addition, the value of your home likely is greater than that of a younger couple married for only a short time.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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