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Divorces later in life create new issues

Older Oklahoma couples considering divorce might need to face special financial situations that develop as a consequence of so-called gray divorce. As the rate for gray divorce keeps growing, planning for these financial situations is important.

With the rate of gray divorce more than doubling within the last 20 years, couples over age 50 who are seeking a divorce need to prepare for the financial challenges that they will face. To begin with, older people who split up find themselves having to live with a household income that is up to half less than what they were used to. Retirement accounts, such as 401(k) accounts, can also be affected as there is less time to plan for retirement and less money to count on when the time comes to retire.

Gray divorces affect the rest of the family. When couples are in their 50s or older, there is a higher chance that they have college-aged children who still depend on their parents for financial support. With a split, some of that support might disappear, affecting their educational and life decisions. The impact can be significant with even grandchildren being affected by the change.

On the other hand, gray divorces are not as common as divorces for younger couples; only 11% of older divorced people split up after the age of 50. Additionally, even with the many challenges faced by older people when they get divorced, those over 50 tend to have accumulated more wealth than younger people by the time the marriage dissolves.

Oklahoma residents who are thinking about or have decided to pursue a divorce might find it useful to consult with a family law lawyer to help them plan for process. A lawyer may help them design a strategy for seeking a fair settlement to deal with the challenges ahead.

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