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Retirement-age couples have unique divorce challenges

42108612_S.jpgMany unhappy spouses reaching retirement age in Missouri may find it uncomfortable to discuss the possibility of divorce. However, since 1987, the divorce rate for U.S. couples over 50 has escalated continuously, even as the overall rate of divorce has been on a downward trend. Recent studies show that about one out of four couples over the age of 50 decides to divorce, and the trend shows no sign of stopping. For older couples, existing difficulties in a marriage can be aggravated by the departure of adult children and changes to lifestyle brought about by retirement.

"Grey divorces" can carry some unique concerns, especially for those who have already retired or who are planning for retirement. Many couples who divorce over the age of 50 have had relationships that have lasted for many years. With long-term marriages comes a range of financial entanglements, from life insurance and Social Security benefits to investments, real estate, 401(k) plans and other retirement savings accounts.

The existing emotional and logistical difficulties of divorce can be distinctly elevated for people who decide to separate at or near retirement age. It can be a shock to a couple's social circle as well, especially for friends, family or even adult children who are deeply accustomed to seeing long-term couples as one family unit. Dealing with these repercussions can add an additional stress point to the existing financial concerns.

For people of any age who are planning to divorce, a family law attorney can be a critical resource for representation. The attorney could provide important advice regarding property division and separation agreements.

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  • Saint Louis County: 120 S. Central Ave., Suite 450, Clayton, MO 63105: Clayton Office
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