Down to Earth Observations from the Frontlines of Client Intake at Edens Law
Lately I’ve noticed a large majority of potential clients reaching out for help with divorce are well over 50 and/or dissolving long term marriages. As someone who has always been an “old soul” with an affinity for seniors and older adults (just ask my partner who is constantly subjected to waiting for me to finish unsolicited conversations at the grocery stores with seniors and “boomers”) —it’s hard for me to not feel awful for these folks who are often blindsided by divorce in what is supposed to be their “Golden Years.” They went from being excited about retirement and “what’s next” to crying “what now?!”
Divorce after 50, also called “Gray Divorce”, is seeing an unprecedented rise. While the U.S. divorce rate may be at a 50-year low, divorce is much more common among those who are 55 and older. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, divorce rates were highest (about 43%) among both sexes, aged 55 to 64. But why? Well, the reasons are a lot more empowering and positive than you might think.
Couples in long-term marriages, perhaps staying in a less-than-ideal situation until their kids left the proverbial nest, are now forging their own single paths. Let’s face it, with over 50% of people in mid-life today looking to live past 85, the prospect of “putting up with” someone they’ve been merely coexisting with unhappily, seems less palatable for an additional 30 to 40+ years (umm YEAH it does). Also, more women are earning incomes independently (Girl Power is having a MOMENT), shattering a big barrier to divorce in the past – splitting one income. Regardless of which spouse is the “breadwinner”, two incomes with employer benefits make divorce much more manageable.
That said, even the most “manageable” of divorces are still difficult to process and come to terms with—especially at an age and stage when you thought your life was “settled.” Many of these couples have spent most of their adult lives together and in turn often have complex shared financial assets and portfolios to consider (i.e., retirement benefits, real estate, health care) not to mention—the “new normal” they’ve been thwarted into (relentless ads for Senior Match and e-Harmony on their Facebook feed and Googling “recipes for one”). A skilled Family Law attorney will be able to focus you and provide solid empathetic and honest advice.
With over 30 years practicing Family Law exclusively under our belts—we’ve seen the Fifty Shades of Gray Divorce 100 times over and know exactly how to tackle the complexities of it. We are here to guide you through the “what now?”—and to let you know the “what’s next?” can still be pretty fantastic at ANY age.
The first step is a conversation. Give me (Natalie) a call today to schedule a case evaluation with one of our skilled Family Law attorneys to start clearing up all the “gray area” for you and help pen your next chapter.
(Complimentary recipe recommendations and online dating tutorial optional—but encouraged)