In Texas and elsewhere in the United States, couples over the age of 50 are getting divorced at an increasingly higher rate. More specifically, there were twice as many ‘gray divorces” in 2010 as there were in 1990, according to one study.
One reason why couples may be getting divorced at an older age is that life expectancy has improved over the years, which means couples can now expect to be together for longer. Individuals who are in or nearing retirement may realize that they do not want to spend their golden years in a lackluster marriage, and they may also find it easier to get divorced once their children have grown and left the home. Older couples also find there is less social stigma now to walk away from a marriage, as compared to the time when they were first married.
Therapists commonly see couples drift apart after a few decades of marriage due to a sense of emotional disconnect, which often leads to divorce. Additionally, as women become more financially independent, they see less of a need to stay in a marriage, and they are therefore less willing to tolerate negative behavior such as adultery, gambling, or abuse.
Though getting divorced at an older age may be simpler in some ways (for instance, the couple may not have to contend with child custody issues), older couples do have to determine how to divide their assets (which, in Texas, must be split equally). Older couples may have more money in their 401(k)s or other retirement assets, which can be a little more difficult to split if the individuals began investing before marriage. Hiring an experienced family law attorney familiar with Texas law might help ensure that all assets are accounted for and divided appropriately.
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Author: On behalf of Katie L. Lewis of Katie L. Lewis, P.C. Family Law