The fastest growing divorce demographic in the United States are people divorcing after 50. In April 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau found that nearly 35% of all Americans who divorced in 2020 were 55 or older, which is more than twice the rate of any other age group surveyed. Sociologists are calling this “Gray Divorce.”
However, Gray Divorce is anything but a cute label as divorcing later in life means less time to financially recover, especially for women. Women who experience divorce later in life see their standard of living decline by 45%, whereas for men, it is only 21%. Additionally, Gray Divorce leaves 27% of women below the federal poverty line compared with 15% of men. Part of this is due to the gender gap in earnings, which is larger later in life for women who did not pursue careers or were displaced from the workforce to become stay-at-home parents. Even in a community property state like California, the equal division of property combined with spousal support will likely not allow for a post-divorced life at the former marital standard of living.
It’s critical to note that spousal support will likely end when your former spouse retires. Generally, the retirement age is 65 but may be earlier for government employees such as law enforcement and firefighters. As such, you could be looking at a future without spousal support. Thus, if marriage is about love and divorce is about money, then you need to get serious about money.
But the situation is not hopeless. If you are divorcing after 50, there are steps you can take to prepare. The first steps you can take are to hire an experienced family law attorney, consult with a financial advisor, and consult with a vocational expert because it is rarely too late to begin a career or obtain job skills.
Take your first step today and contact The Reape-Rickett Law Firm at (888) 851-1611, or Contact Us Here, to understand your options and meet with an experienced and compassionate attorney to help guide and protect you.