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The rise of gray divorce

| Feb 18, 2020 | Divorce, Firm News |

Couples in Oregon may be surprised to learn that gray divorce – which refers to divorces involving couples over the age of 50 – is on the rise in the United States, according to one study. Although the divorce rate has dropped overall, the rate of gray divorce doubled from 1990 to 2010.

Some people over 50 who are filing for divorce have already been divorced before, meaning they were statistically more likely to go through another divorce. However, there are times when couples have been together for decades and simply grow apart emotionally. It can be easier to notice an emotional divide once children have left the house (and are no longer the center of attention) or after one of the spouses has retired.

Additionally, now that people have a longer life expectancy than they did in generations past, individuals are realizing that they do not want to spend at least 20 or 30 years of retirement in a lackluster marriage. It is also easier for couples to part ways now than it would have been a few decades ago, when divorce was more stigmatized. Women are also more likely to initiate divorce now that they have gained more independence, and they are less willing to tolerate bad behaviors in a marriage, such as adultery.

When a couple gets divorced in Oregon, which is an equitable distribution state, the property belonging to the spouses must be split fairly between the individuals (as opposed to community property states, where all shared assets must be split 50-50). Couples getting divorced over the age of 50 may have more assets to consider, such as property, 401(k) accounts or other retirement assets. A family law attorney licensed in Oregon might be able to help individuals navigate the separation process.