An increasing number of older couples in Texas and across the country are choosing to divorce. While the divorce rate remains twice as high among younger couples, it has doubled since 1990 for people age 50 and older. At the same time, the rate has remained steady or even slightly declined for younger couples. People at any age can divorce successfully and move on to a happy single life, but it can be particularly important for people who divorce later in life to take care of their health.
The Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory is a tool that measures the likelihood of a stress-induced health breakdown in relation to significant life events; divorce ranks second on that scale. While stress can affect people at any age, it can be a particular concern for seniors who are already dealing with other medical issues. When people over 50 decide to divorce, especially those who have already entered retirement age, there can be some particular physical and psychological health concerns to monitor. Depression, anxiety and chronic stress are common responses to divorce. These can also affect other physical conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes.
There are a number of factors that have contributed to the rise in “gray divorces.” People are living longer and healthier lives. In fact, many seniors are on their second or third marriages, which are more likely to end in divorce. Furthermore, women are more financially independent and less likely to remain in bad marriages due to money concerns.
When spouses over 50 decide to divorce, they may be concerned about the financial implications, especially in regard to retirement plans. A family law attorney can provide detailed information about the effects of property division and advocate strongly for a fair settlement in terms of the division of assets, spousal support and other issues.