The numbers of older couples getting divorced nationwide, including in Texas, have increased significantly in recent years. Some attribute it to the fact that women have become more independent. Whatever the reason for the record rate of gray divorces, they are typically more complicated that those of younger couples. In many cases, older couples who file for divorce have been together for 30 or 40 years, complicating the decisions that have to be made to address post-divorce financial stability.
Regardless of the circumstances, older individuals seeking divorce may find that it is not a process to be rushed. Careful consideration must be given to matters such as retirement and potential health issues. The fact that the parties may be retired or close to retirement will play a significant role in financial planning for gray divorces.
A person who became a stay-at-home parent early in the marriage may be entirely unprepared for re-entry into the job market, and the possibility of an older spouse having the means to pay spousal support may be slim. Plans may have to be formulated to earn an income. Further, insurance policies, wills and any other estate planning documents may have to be modified in the event of a divorce.
However daunting a divorce in the senior years of a Texas spouse may appear to be, many others have done it successfully. The key is for a person to avoid trying to navigate it on his or her own. In addition to the support of friends and family, professional advisors can form part of the support team. An experienced divorce attorney can assess the circumstances and suggest the most appropriate manner in which to protect the client's interest while moving toward a final divorce decree.
Source: 6abc.com, "Art of Aging: Gray Divorce", Tamala Edwards, Jan. 28, 2016