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Gray divorce harder to recover from financially

The number of divorces involving couples over 50 years of age has more than doubled in the past 20 years. Approximately 25% of people who divorced during the year 2010 were more than 50 years old compared to only about 10% in 1990. California residents who are considering divorce after 50, sometimes referred to as gray divorce, are likely to face different challenges than their younger counterparts.

Individuals who go through a gray divorce are likely to experience a 50% drop in household wealth, for example, according to a researcher from Bowling Green State University. After such a financial setback, those who divorce later in life have less time to make up the ground they lost. Retirement accounts and other investments that are reduced due to the divorce can be hard to quickly rebuild, and the job market for people over 50 is decidedly more challenging than for younger workers.

Combine that with the fact that many older divorcing couples have college-age kids, and finances can quickly run thin. People over the age of 50 are likely, though, to have more in terms of assets than younger people. Divorced men over the age of 50 have, on average, more than $165,000 in assets more than divorced men under 50. For women, the difference is $50,000. Gray divorce is also still less common despite its significant increase. Only 11% of divorced people ended their marriages after 50.

People in California who are considering or going through a divorce might want to schedule a consultation with a lawyer. An attorney who practices family law may gather evidence of a couple's holdings and negotiate the terms of property division. A lawyer may put together the petition for divorce to begin proceedings or argue for a client during child custody or other family court hearings.

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