Divorce among adults older than age 50 is becoming more common in Colorado and in other areas. According to statistics, divorce among older adults, which is also known as “gray divorce,” has doubled since 1990. Divorce among older adults can cause a number of health problems.
Several factors have contributed to making older adults the fastest-growing age group to for divorce. These include longer life expectancy, the fact that many women no longer depend on their husbands for income and remarriage among older adults, which makes divorce statistically 2.5 times more likely.
Divorce among older adults is a risk factor for mental health problems. Depression and anxiety are more common among older divorcees. Mental health problems are linked with physical problems such as heart disease, insomnia, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.
Divorce after age 50 often comes with social health hazards as well, especially for older males who may be more alienated from adult children after divorce because they were less involved with raising them. Many older adults face isolation after divorce, which can develop if the person is depressed and no longer feels like leaving the house to socialize.
Gray divorce can also cause a negative impact on a person’s finances. Many older adults lose their sole caregiver in divorce. Women who took time off to care for children and earned less during their career often face reduced retirement income.
An attorney experienced in family law may be able to assist clients who are facing a divorce after retirement. In some cases, an attorney may be able to lessen the financial impact of divorce by arguing that his or her client should be awarded spousal support. A judge may consider factors such as the length of the marriage and the continued ability of each spouse to earn an income. An attorney may also be able to argue that the client is entitled to a fair share of the couple’s most significant assets such as the marital home or retirement and savings accounts.