Women Suffer Most in Gray Divorces
While experts and researchers tend to disagree on the exact rate of divorce in the United States today, they are in agreement on one issue: the rate of divorce for couples over the age of 50 is on the rise. According to a recent Forbes article, the rate of “gray divorces” has actually doubled over the 20-year period from 1990 to 2010. These divorces tend to involve couples who have been married for many years, which can create huge financial changes for both parties. However, women, in these divorces, tend to suffer most.
How Your Age Impacts Your Divorce
The reality is that when divorce occurs later in life, the impact on your finances is larger. Once you reach retirement age, you are likely to be living on a fixed income, perhaps from Social Security benefits and pension or other retirement benefits. When you abruptly go from two sources of income to one, your budget and expenses will necessarily change. This is usually not a positive change, especially for the woman, who statistically is likely to have had less income over her lifetime than the man. This can cause the woman’s retirement benefits to be substantially less than her husband’s benefits. Women may be able to draw Social Security benefits from their spouses’ earning records, even following divorce, in some situations. However, that source of income is not a guarantee and is not available to all women at the time that they may need it the most.
How Traditional Gender Roles Affect Your Divorce
Long-standing marriages often involve more traditional gender roles than most modern marriages. By the time a gray divorce occurs, the woman may not have worked in the last 20 years, and has no education or training that would enable her to do so. This situation makes it virtually impossible for the woman to become financially independent. As a result, she may continue to be financially dependent on her ex-spouse to a large degree, out of sheer necessity. Even spousal support awards, however, can be limited by certain circumstances, and may not last forever. In fact, statistics show that while 27 percent of older divorced women live below the poverty line, only 11 percent of older divorced men are in the same difficult financial situation.
Call Your Illinois Divorce Lawyer Today
The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C., is devoted to helping you get through your divorce case and coming out of it in the best position possible. Attorney Richardson knows how emotional and difficult a divorce can be, especially when you have been married for many years. No matter what your circumstances, let Palatine divorce lawyer Nicholas Richardson handle the legal matters, while you focus on your future.