Financial implications of gray divorce

People who file for divorce later in life have different financial issues to consider and may face additional hardships and challenges.

Statistics show that more people over the age of 50 are filing for divorce than ever before. While this gray divorce trend may be the result of a longer life expectancy rate, early retirement, empty nest syndrome or an increase of financially independent women, it can have serious implications on a person's life. Not only are there additional financial concerns with a Texas divorce that takes place at this time in a person's life, but separating can still affect a couple's family, including children and grandchildren.

Division of property and assets

Separating property and assets that have been accumulated throughout decades of marriage may seem overwhelming. There may be a considerable amount of property, belongings and assets that must be distributed between the involved parties. Couples who file for divorce after the age of 50 must take into account the following:

• 401k plans, stock options, money market accounts and other benefits amassed from employment

• Social security benefits

• Life insurance policies

• Retirement benefits

• Equity in property, vehicles, costly collections and/or memberships to exclusive clubs

When dividing property, couples may also be forced to deal with businesses and other jointly-owned ventures.

Financial dependence

In some cases, one spouse may be financially dependent on the other spouse during the duration of the marriage. When the couple separates, it can be difficult for that person to make a financial transition to living single. This dramatic transformation can change a person's quality of life. A number of people may have to return to the workforce or apply for government assistance in order to help them make ends meet. In a situation where one spouse was in control of paying the bills, the other spouse may have difficulties understanding what to do once the marriage is over. According to AARP, the rate of poverty is approximately 20 percent among women who file for divorce in the U.S.

Family implications

People who cannot make it on their own following a divorce in their later years may turn to their children for financial and emotional support. Parents may move in with their kids, which can have a serious effect on the dynamics of the family. It may also place a strain on the relationship between the children and the parents.

It's not the end of the road

Filing for divorce can be extremely emotional, especially if you are separating after decades of marriage. It can be overwhelming to change from the life you have become accustomed to for so long. A family attorney in Texas may be able to offer legal assistance to you during this hard time. If you are lost in the divorce process, you may want to seek counsel from an experienced lawyer.