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Some statistics about gray divorce

The term gray divorce refers to a couple that is older, often married for a number of years or even decades, going through the process of a divorce or legal separation.

The number of gray divorces has spiked in recent years. In 1990, only five of 1,000 married couples over 50, that is one-half of one percent, got divorced.

By 2010, the annual divorce rate had doubled to one percent, or 10 of 1,000 couples. Still, gray divorces are in the minority, with only one out of four of all divorces in 2010 being gray divorces.

While some might attribute this trend to a combination of mid-life or late-life crises and a diminished social stigma surrounding divorce, other studies suggest that one of the top risk factors for a gray divorce is a prior marriage. Those who have been married once before are more than twice as likely to go through a gray divorce.

Likewise, those in shorter marriages tend to be more prone to divorce.

Another interesting point is that affluence seems to prevent gray divorces. The common wisdom is that those who are of limited means have more financial incentive to stay in a marriage and are thus less likely to divorce.

In the case of gray divorce, a wealthier couple may be worried about financial fallout if they have a lot of property to be divided. Wealth may also afford a couple more alternatives to divorce, including counseling or just co-existing in essentially separate lives.

At any rate, it is important for those in the greater Denver area to remember that gray divorce isn't exactly commonplace, and certainly not streamlined enough to be a simple process. In many cases of gray divorce, as couples in the Denver area seem to realize, there is a lot of property at stake, such that an older couple's final future may be on the line.

A Colorado resident experiencing a high asset divorce or legal separation in their later years should consider speaking with an experienced legal professional.

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Fax: 303-648-5874