Gray divorce and its impact on older Americans

Divorce is difficult, but it can be particularly difficult for people who are older and closer to retirement age. Over the last several decades, the number of divorces involving people age 50 and up has doubled. Gray divorce is a term used to describe when an older couple makes the choice to end their marriage.

There are many reasons for this trend. The overall perception of divorce is different now, and life expectancy is longer than ever. The combination of these things and other factors may make it easier for couples who are older or who have been married for decades to divorce. Regardless of the reason for this decision, a gray divorce can be financially damaging, and it can lead to health complications as well.

The effects of your divorce

If you made the decision to move forward with your divorce, you probably know that you are facing a long and potentially difficult process. Divorce is never easy, but it can be especially difficult for a Texas reader who is nearing retirement age. There are few reasons for this:

  • Divorce leads to a reduction in a person's overall wealth. Studies suggest this could be by as much as 50%.
  • A divorce could lead to a reduction in your lifestyle, especially for older women.
  • Some people going through a gray divorce are walking through this process for the second or third time, which can be even more financially damaging.

In addition to the financial impact of your divorce, you will also want to keep a close eye on your health during this process. In fact, some people suggest that a gray divorce is actually bad for a person's health, and studies find the following to be true about older individuals and gray divorce:

  • Divorce is more likely to lead to weight gain, especially for older men.
  • People who go through a gray divorce have a higher likelihood of suffering from depression.
  • Divorce can also lead to an increase in blood pressure, even while at rest. 

These are things that can have an overall impact on your well-being long-term. Ultimately, it is easy to see how important it is to pursue a strong and thoughtful divorce order if you are older. Your financial future is on the line, but with a fair property division and financial settlement, you can look to your post-divorce years with confidence regarding your security and stability.

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