Are you looking at a divorce later in your life? Have you and your partner grown apart after decades of marriage? Across the nation, a recent study found divorce rates have doubled for people over 50 since the 1990s. This is known as “grey divorce.”

Are grey divorces common?

This study found interesting trends in divorce rates in certain age groups. It found that the median age for first marriage in 2016 rose by a little over three years in both men and women compared to 1990. It also found that married couples are more likely to have a college education. College-educated adults typically have a lower divorce rate.

Aging “Baby Boomers” face different challenges. About a third of grey divorces happen in couples who were married for more than three decades. On the other hand, after 50, you are more likely to be in your second or higher marriage than younger adults. Subsequent marriages have a doubled divorce rate.

What challenges do you face in a grey divorce?

A divorce late in your life carries unique challenges. The following are ways it could affect you differently than a younger person.

  • Your retirement savings are probably far higher and, if joint, more complicated to separate.
  • You have fewer income-earning years ahead of you before your retirement.
  • Older people tend to be more financially insecure than married or widowed adults.
  • Living alone can have a negative impact on your health and social life as an older adult.
  • Any long-held joint property has likely gained significant value.

While a divorce can free you from a broken marriage, it can also have serious implications for your future. If you are divorcing after the age of 50, protect your retirement savings and any potential future earnings from inheritance or property by exploring your legal options.