In Texas and across the nation, people of all ages get divorced for myriad reasons. It could be due simply to people being incompatible and growing apart or it could extend to allegations of abuse and infidelity. Regardless, it is important to understand various fundamentals to consider as the process moves forward. For older people involved in a so-called “gray” divorce, some issues like child custody will generally recede to the background. Others like property division and spousal maintenance will take on greater importance. For people facing this challenge, it is important to have assistance with how to proceed.
Bowling Green State study says gray divorces are on the rise
Recently released research from the National Center for Family and Marriage at Bowling Green State University examined divorces in the United States. Part of that was assessing gray divorce. In the analysis, it was found that the number of people across the nation who decided to divorce had been declining since 1980. That year, there were 22.6 divorces for every thousand marriages. The numbers reached their lowest point in four decades in 2019 with 15.5 for every thousand marriages.
Still, for women 50 and above, the numbers have been rising in the past thirty years. For women in that age range, the numbers doubled from 1990 to 2008 to 10.7 per 1,000 marriages. From 2008 to 2017 (the last year in which the statistics are comprehensive and available), it reduced to 10.3. Research after 2017 indicates that more people were getting divorced when compared to how many were getting married. The two groups that had a spike in divorces compared to the number of marriages were women 65 and older and younger people between 15 and 24. Texas ranked eighth with 11.6 gray divorces for every thousand marriages. For context, Delaware was at the top with 13.4. The fewest were in South Dakota.
Gray divorce has unique issues to address
Whether the older couple was married for many years or it was a moderate or short-term marriage, there are specific factors in a divorce that should be addressed from the outset. There are the obvious concerns like a family home, a vacation property, items of sentimental value and spousal maintenance. Other aspects may be forgotten or ignored, but should not be. That might include retirement accounts, a pension and life insurance policies. To be fully prepared, it is imperative for both parties to know what they might be facing. Consulting with experienced professionals who care and focus on reasonable solutions can be helpful.