Study explores money issues when older people divorce

 According to a recently published study, there is a growing trend of divorce among those over fifty. The trend, known as “gray divorce,” involves people over 50 years old. In Wisconsin, and nationwide, those in this demographic face unique financial challenges when they end their marriages.

A generation ago, gray divorces were comparatively rare. In 1990, only 10% of divorces occurred among people over 50. As of 2010, that percentage had risen to more than twice that. Researchers have found that leaving a spouse at this stage of life may create significant financial difficulties. The lack of time to recoup monetary losses through work and savings after a later in life divorce can sometimes limits older adults' ability to rebuild retirement funds divided in a divorce. Older adults might also encounter difficulty re-entering the workforce. Expenses for young adult children in college frequently added to their financial strain as well.

The researchers reported that wealth declined for older people by as much as 50% after a divorce, especially for women. Divorced women over 50 had about $50,000 or more in assets whereas divorced men in the same age group averaged $165,000 or more in total assets.

Divorce also requires that people start paying for their separate households, which increases living expenses. To best head off these potential complications, an attorney can explain your rights relating to dividing property and spousal support. With the right legal representation, you can weigh all of your options to set yourself up for the best possible scenario under the law.

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