The term “gray divorce” has been on a lot of people’s lips lately. So what is it? Since the 1980s, which saw a spike in the divorce rate, the national divorce rate in general has been on the decline — but not for older people. In fact, according to a recent study titled “The Gray Divorce Revolution,” divorce among people aged 50 or older has more than doubled in the last 20 years.
The phenomenon of gray divorce in Texas poses some specific predicaments related to property division that many younger divorcing couples might not face. When you’re older and you decide to end your marriage, the chances are greater that you’ve accumulated considerable assets — or more assets, at least, than you had when you were first married.
That means gray divorce can be more complicated when it comes to dividing marital property. What happens to the house or other real estate? What happens to retirement or savings accounts you’ve had for years? What about stock options? And what happens to business assets?
To achieve an equitable divorce settlement, older Austin residents who have decided to divorce will need skilled legal guidance. In any case, it is not a good idea to throw up your hands and give away the assets you’ve worked hard to build up. Likewise, people who gave up their own careers to support their spouses’ careers need not be left out in the cold after a marital split.
If what the recent study predicts is true — that by 2030 the yearly number of gray divorces will exceed 800,000 — then a lot of Texas residents over 50 may need to look into their options for achieving an equitable divorce settlement.
Source: Huffington Post, “Gray Divorce: Will You Become Part Of The Trend?” Shelley Emling, Nov. 1, 2012