More Couples Divorcing After 50

November 13, 2013  |  Elizabeth A. Schading

According to The New York Times, more couples are starting to divorce after the age of 50.
A half-century ago, only 2.8 percent of Americans older than 50 were divorced. By 2000, 11.8 percent were. In 2011, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 15.4 percent were divorced and another 2.1 percent were separated. Some 13.5 percent were widowed.
While divorce rates all over have stabilized and even inched downward, the divorce rate among people 50 and older has doubled since 1990, according to an analysis of census data by professors at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. That’s especially significant because half the married population is older than 50.
In 1990, 1 in 10 persons who divorced was 50 and older. By 2011, according to the census’ American Community Survey, more than 28 percent (more than 1 in 4) who said they divorced in the previous months were 50 and older.
Divorcing after 50 can bring some special considerations. While child custody is usually no longer an issue, an older couple will typically be either retired or rapidly approaching retirement. An older couple will also typically have more marital property to account for. There are also usually some special estate planning considerations that must be tackled during the divorce process.
You may also need help preserving Medicaid or other benefits so that major health issues don’t destroy you financially after the divorce is finalized. As you can see, a divorce after 50 can be complicated!
Thus, if you are divorcing after 50 it is very important for you to seek the advice of a qualified family law attorney. If you want trustworthy experience on your side, contact BGS today. We’ve been serving the Minneapolis metro area for over 75 years, and we can help you navigate the pitfalls of a so-called “gray” divorce.