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"Grey" Divorces on the Rise

Divorces among older couples - otherwise known as "grey" divorces are increasing at a dramatic rate. According to research done by Susan L. Brown and I-Fen Lin at Bowling Green State University's National Center for Family & Marriage Research Center, the divorce rate has doubled from 1990 to 2009 for American couples 50-years-old and older.

In addition, divorces among couples aged 65 and above experienced a similar doubling during the same time period, though not as large as the increase in the younger age group.

The research also discovered that couples already divorced and remarried are two-and-a-half more likely than couples still in their first marriage to file for divorce. Moreover for couples aged 50 and above, half of all divorces stemmed from remarriages - indicating that this trend will likely not only continue, but increase.

Divorces among older couples - often after decades of marriage - are not only disheartening, but also involve financial concerns younger couples are not as susceptible to. For example, younger couples generally have not had commingled assets and accounts as long as older couples, meaning it may be easier to divide these assets between younger couples following a divorce.

Recently, U.S. News published other financial concerns for divorcing older couples - a list that was derived after interviewing various financial advisers. For example, advisors recommend getting a clear picture of what living expenses will be following a late-in-life divorce because it will normally be much more than half of the previous joint-household expenses.

Also, it is recommended to not only get copies of all relevant documents - such as financial statements and credit reports - but also to close any joint bank accounts the two may share. Lastly, it is always a good idea to get expert help and advice.

Source: U.S. News-Money, "Financial Safeguards Needed as Senior Divorces Soar," July 6, 012

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