Statistics tracking the number of divorces in the United States are delving more deeply into the end of a marriage and why it comes about. One that is growing in frequency is the so-called “gray divorce”, one that involves people age 50 and older. For couples in Charlotte, knowing the warning signs of when a divorce might be imminent is vital to preparing for the emotions and legal issues that accompany it.

Deeper examinations into the underlying reasons for a gray divorce can help to understand and be ready for it. More than a third of gray divorces involve people who have been married for more than 30 years, and 12 percent of older divorcing couples have been married for more than 40 years. While the number of gray divorces is twice what it was 30 years ago, it is still not considered to be abnormally high compared to other age groups.

People who remained married often owned property together. Those with assets that surpassed $250,000 got divorced 38 percent less frequently than those whose assets were $50,000 or less. The number of divorces for people who were married for the first time came to fewer than half of those who were remarried.

It might seem to be a difficult decision to move forward with a divorce at an older age. There are a variety of legal issues that will have to be examined, such as property division, and a person in this situation might want to have legal assistance in negotiating a settlement agreement rather than going to court and having a judge make the decision.

Source: Institute for Family Studies, “Who is at Risk for a Gray Divorce? It Depends”, Naomi Cahn and June Carbone, May 1, 2017

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