Older spouses in California may benefit from learning more about how to emerge financially healthy from a gray divorce. Generally speaking, gray divorce is a term reserved for spouses age 50 or older who are ending their marriage. Separating spouses are often faced with life-altering choices as they unravel their long-term marriage. The same can be said for stay-at-home parents and career professionals, the process can be emotionally devastating.
Understanding gray divorce
While the overall divorce rate has been declining for two decades, divorce among those 50 or older has been on the rise. According to Pew Research, the divorce rate for ages 50 or older has doubled since the ‘90s and tripled among ages 65 or older. Divorce among seniors has also become more popular in the U.K and Japan. The prospect of living to grow old in an unhappy marriage has compelled many to file for divorce.
Managing divorce as a senior
Many spouses wait until the children have moved out before they seriously consider divorce. While the reasons for the split may vary, one frequent commonality is that one side feels completely blindsided by the divorce. However, the financial challenges associated with divorce are typically less of an issue for women with high-earning careers. According to the Government Accountability Office, divorce results in a 41 percent decline in income for women and a 23 percent decline in income for men.
Life after gray divorce
After a divorce, many ex-spouses are forced to downgrade the quality of their life, their home and their vehicle to make their new budget work. Seniors also have to consider how divorce can impact their retirement savings plan and access to health insurance if it was contingent on an ex-spouse’s employment.