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Gray divorce rates continue to increase

While many people think of bitter custody battles when they think of divorce, this isn't always the case. Gray divorce is the term used for divorce that involve those aged 50 or over. These late-in-life divorces have continued to increase, with the divorce rate for those in this age group having doubled from 1990 to 2010.

This is particularly noteworthy because, overall, divorce rates in the United States have dropped within that same period. While divorce rates increased dramatically in the 70s and 80s, when it became more socially acceptable, current divorce rates are lower and have generally leveled off.

So why the increase in gray divorces? Some researchers postulate that it's the very fact that the couple's children are grown and financially independent, having gotten married and started their own families, that makes older couples feel like as many people won't be affect by the divorce. It's also possible that this is a time in people's lives where they feel like they want to go out and do the things they've put on hold while taking care of their families.

No matter the reason, however, gray divorce can be a serious financial issues. These couples usually have very intertwined finances, and the financial loss both parties experience is significant. It can mean they have to work longer before retiring, and 27 percent of women and 11 percent of men who go through a gray divorce end up living in poverty. However, there are many things you can do to protect yourself and your finances. Talking with an attorney during your divorce can ensure that you understand all of your rights and options when it comes to your financial settlement.

Source: Invest Daily News, "Gray Divorces Quietly Double Between 1990 and 2010," Jacob Maslow, July 17, 2016

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