January 24, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Divorce has become more common and even normal over the last half century, but in the last few decades, one surprising new pattern has developed. The number of "gray divorces
," or divorces sought by couples over the age of 50, has grown dramatically. These gray divorces introduce all kinds of new considerations and complications for people in Louisville or other parts of Kentucky who are preparing to seek one.
Figures on gray divorce
New research from Bowling Green State University indicates that, since 1990, the rate of divorce among people over age 50 has doubled, according to the Wall Street Journal. In 2009, over 600,000 people in this age group divorced, representing a quarter of all people who divorced that year. In contrast, in 1990, people over age 50 only accounted for one in ten divorces. The study also pointed to a few predictors for couples choosing to separate later in life:
- Women initiated the divorce in nearly two-thirds of divorces involving couples between ages 40 and 69.
- More than half of gray divorces involve people who have already been married once.
- People who were over age 65 and had been married once before had four times the risk of getting divorced as 65-year olds in first-time marriages.
- Infidelity was not a large motivating factor; it was cited as one of the top reasons for less than a third of gray divorces.
The Fiscal Times suggests various factors that may lead to the dramatic uptick in these divorces. Couples in this age group may perceive marriage less as a duty and more as a means of personal gain. Women who enjoy better earning power may be more inclined to act on a desire to separate. Couples who are facing a long period of retirement and good health may also feel that their time could be better spent with someone else, especially since 40 percent of working couples disagree on how to spend their retirement years, according to the Fiscal Times.
Every separation involves unique circumstances, of course, but there are some considerations common to most gray divorces that couples should be aware of.
Complications of gray divorce
Although issues relating to child custody and support will not come up during most gray divorces, spousal support and property division
are arrangements that must be taken seriously. In Kentucky, assets like the house, any family businesses and retirement funds are all equitably divided, which means that they are divided fairly but not necessarily equally. Retirement funds or benefits can include pensions, stocks, 401(k)s and more.
With retirement approaching quickly for many people over the age of 50, and with older couples tending to have more established assets or wealth than younger couples, dividing property fairly is crucial. If the recent study is any indicator, the issues brought up during a gray divorce are challenges that an increasing number of middle-aged and elderly couples need to be concerned with.
If you are considering filing for divorce in Kentucky or if you have already started the process, make sure to speak with an attorney about your rights and potential settlement options.
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