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'Gray divorce' on the rise

A growing number of people in Texas and across the country is choosing to divorce later in life. While divorce rates have become stable for Americans in general, including younger people, they have continued to rise for older couples. For example, since 1990, the divorce rates have doubled for people age 50 and older, and the same rates have tripled for people age 65 and older. The phenomenon has become so well known that it has been called the "gray divorce revolution," reflecting the growing frequency of people getting divorced at a later age.

There are many factors that may contribute to the growing divorce rate, including family members' own divorce decisions. Women who have divorced parents are 60 percent likelier to divorce themselves, and men with divorced parents are 35 percent more apt to do the same. However, there are other factors that are involved as well. Couples on their second or third marriages are 2.5 times more likely to decide to split than those who are still in their first marriages. Furthermore, individuals who have been married for a shorter period of time are more inclined to end their marriages than those who have remained together for decades.

Retirement age is also a time of significant life transitions. In many cases, children have finally left the home, and in other situations, stress can include the return of adult children or stepchildren. Transitioning into retirement from an active work life can also be challenging for people, especially couples who have grown distant over the years.

There is a number of specific financial concerns when people divorce later in life, particularly in relation to retirement savings and property division. A family law attorney can work with a divorcing individual to help him or her protect key assets and achieve a fair settlement on a range of issues.

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