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The long-term impact of gray divorce

While those divorcing after age 50 usually don't have to deal with contentious issues like child support or child custody, financial factors are very much in play. In many cases, those who divorce later in life have been married for quite a while -- often several decades -- and their finances are extremely intertwined.

What this means for the divorce settlement is that each party will likely come out of the divorce in a worse financial position than when they were married. This is most evident when it comes to things like Social Security benefits. Because of the ways in which divorcing later in life can affect who gets what share of the benefits, it can increase the risk of living in poverty.

While the number of married older adults living in poverty is only 1 to 3 percent, a significant 19 percent of those who went through a gray divorce are living under the poverty line. Women are also disproportionately affected, with 27 percent of women who have been through a gray divorce living under the poverty line compared to 11 percent of gray divorce men.

The gray divorce rate has more than doubled in the past few decades, illustrating how important it is for those over 50 to be aware of the possible financial consequences of these late-in-life divorces. If you aren't sure how your finances may fare after the divorce or want more information on how you can protect your assets and financial interests, a family law attorney in Texas can help you better understand your unique situation.

Source: National Center for Family & Marriage Research, "Marital Biography, Social Security, and Poverty," I-Fen Lin, Susan L. Brown and Anna M. Hammersmith, accessed July 21, 2016

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