Gray divorces are often rougher than divorces for younger people. Not only has the couple involved reached an age where they likely thought their lives were going to be pretty much settled, but they may have decades invested in their marriage. Further, the financial aftereffects of the divorce can be harsh on older couples and completely derail their retirement plans.
Nonetheless, the rate of gray divorces is rising. The rate of divorce among younger people has dropped 21% in the past 25 years, but the rate for those over the age of 50 has climbed 109%. (For comparison, consider this: The rate of divorce for those in the middle — between 40 and 49 — only rose 14% in the same period.)
If you’re heading toward a gray divorce, keep in mind that Texas is a community property state. However, family court judges have some leeway to distribute assets in an unequal manner. That may be a distinct possibility in a gray divorce if one spouse gave up a career in order to care for the family home and children or has a disability that prevents them from working. This may also happen if you only have one retirement account between you and you focused on building that fund up because you always thought you would share the proceeds.
If you’re over 50 and contemplating divorce, the smart thing to do is to talk to an attorney before you make your next move. Please explore our site further to learn more about the divorce process or contact our office directly.