According to social science researchers, more and more older Americans are choosing to move toward divorce. In fact, the National Center for Family and Marriage Research has released statistics that suggest that in 2014, individuals age 50 and older filed for divorce at two times the rate of same age group in 1990. Individuals over the age of 65 showed an even higher increase over that same span of time. For many in Arizona, these numbers come as no surprise.
The reasons behind this trend vary. One factor is the social stigma that previous generations placed on divorce, especially for women. Today, divorce no longer carries the mark of shame that our mothers and grandmothers may have faced, and many women feel empowered to move beyond a broken marriage. In addition, women have far more opportunities than in earlier decades and can find a career path that will support them and their children.
Regardless of the reasons behind the rise in "gray" divorce, it is important for older spouses to realize that their divorce needs are different from those of a 30 or 40-year-old person. As retirement approaches, the financial ramifications of a divorce have a much greater impact. Reaching a settlement that is fair and financially savvy should be the top priority for every divorcing spouse over the age of 50.
For many Arizona spouses who are nearing or at retirement age, dividing marital wealth can be a complicated matter. Various choices will have different tax obligations, and certain assets are more liquid than others. When it comes to making these essential choices and structuring a negotiation strategy, the input of a divorce attorney and financial advisor can make a world of difference in the eventual outcome.
Source: bendbulletin.com, "After full lives together, more older couples divorcing", Abby Ellin, Nov. 6, 2015