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Grey divorce is common but may not be financially easy

Divorce for people over 50, and even for those over 65, has become commonplace. Many couples in Texas and in other states break up late in life because their children are grown and moved out; there is no longer a force pressuring the person to stay for the sake of the children. The other common divorce dynamic late in life is where one of the spouses finds someone else and bails out.

The fact that it is happening far more often than 30 and 40 years ago does not mean that the process has become easy. There are often financial problems that come with a grey divorce. For those who have substantial income or sufficient retirement assets to support each spouse comfortably after separation, however, the road will be easy with respect to monetary needs.

For most couples divorcing late in life, they will have to review their retirement assets to determine if they can make it alone. Social Security is a mainstay but, as any retired person knows, the amount one gets under this program is generally not enough to live comfortably, especially not in the style that one knew for so many past decades. Therefore, decisions may have to be made.

The individual will have to  look at going back to work and getting some kind of supplemental income coming back in. The marital home may be the first asset to go on the auction block. It may be too costly to maintain, and the funds may be necessary to live on for the foreseeable future.

Other investments, retirement plans and the like will have to be looked at. In some instances, the spouse may have to petition a Texas divorce court to get his or her share of an asset awarded. Such marital property questions do arise in the realm of elderly divorces. The best thing to do for one in that situation is to consult with a family law divorce attorney and take up all of the issues in their proper context.

Source:, "Divorcing after being married for decades? Here's what to do", Alessandra Malito, Dec. 17, 2016

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