Getting a divorce is never easy. It is certainly always expensive. However, recent studies have shown that those getting divorced after the age of 50 experience the worst hardships. These are known as grey divorces and, for women especially, they can be devastating.
A new study has shown that getting divorced after the age of 50 causes a person’s wealth to decrease by about 50 percent. That is not surprising, given that every state divides a couple’s assets upon divorce, usually either entirely equally, or at least fairly. The effect of that decline in income and wealth though is particularly troubling for women that get grey divorces.
The new study also showed that women can expect their standard of living to drop by about 45 percent after divorce. This is twice the amount previous studies have shown regarding divorce in younger women. Older men can expect to see a 21 percent drop in their standard of living. Other studies have shown there is little to no effect on a younger man’s standard of living when he gets divorced at an earlier age.
Still yet another study has shown that women that are 63 and older when they get divorced have a poverty rate of 27 percent more than other people in the age group that have not gotten a grey divorce.
The stats are troubling, but there is reason behind them. For women especially, grey divorces are more difficult because they have often spent much of their time at home caring for children in the marriage. Not only do they not have as much income, but they also find it extremely challenging to reenter the workforce.
“This new study is troubling, but certainly not surprising,” says Galit Moskowitz of Moskowitz Law Group, LLC. “Older individuals just do not have the same amount of time to bounce back from the financial hardship of divorce that younger people do. Their options are also much more limited when it comes to things like earning an income, which compounds the problem and drives older people into poverty simply because they were in an unhappy marriage.”