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Divorce rate grows for older Americans

Fewer people in San Jose overall are filing for divorce, but the opposite may be true for older residents. Between 1990 and 2010, the divorce rate for Americans aged 50 and up more than doubled, a trend that has only continued since then. Dubbed "gray divorce", separations involving older adults may also carry some unique concerns about finances and retirement planning. There are many reasons why more people are choosing to divorce later in life.

In the first place, social attitudes toward divorce have changed dramatically. Today's older Americans are the same people who led the change in those attitudes. Therefore, it can be important to note that many gray divorces do not necessarily involve long-time marriages. People in a second or third marriage who have been divorced before may also be more likely to do it again.

Some couples in longer marriages may decide to divorce after their children are truly grown and outside the home. In the past, older Americans may have been more likely to have one-income marriages, but couples over 50 today are likely to have dual incomes. This can mean that neither party is pressured to remain in an unhappy relationship due to financial pressures.

However, there are some financial concerns that can accompany a gray divorce. Retirement funds may be some of the largest assets split during property division. Both parties may need to escalate their savings or alter their financial plans to reflect the expenses of funding a single life with the same amount of income they shared as a couple.

No matter the age that people choose to divorce, it can be a complicated process legally, financially and emotionally. A family law attorney may help a client reach a fair settlement on asset division, alimony and other key matters.

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