Bill and Melinda Gates divorce highlights a rise in gray divorce

Divorce can be difficult at any age but divorcing later in life can have its own set of challenges. The rate of ‘gray divorce’ or divorce after the age of 50, has taken off over the past few decades. In fact, the gray divorce rate has more than doubled from 1990 to 2019. Bill Gates, age 65, and Melinda Gates, age 56 recently announced their divorce after 27 years of marriage, proving once again that couples entering the later stages of life may be looking forward to starting a new chapter.

Why the rise in gray divorce?

When a couple reaches their 50s, there are many life changes that occur with the kids moving out or going off to college and retirement just around the corner. Experts suggest that the rise in gray divorce in recent years may have to do with changes within our society. In the past, divorce was strongly discouraged in general, and women in particular had trouble establishing financial independence after divorce. Nowadays, however, many women work outside of the home and can support themselves without the help of their husband.

Challenges that arise in a gray divorce

Colorado couples divorcing later in life may have accumulated a large number of assets over the years, so it can be difficult to make sure that all items of value are accounted for in the divorce. Older divorcing couples should also think about how retirement benefits and Social Security will be distributed once the divorce becomes official. Also, if one spouse is relying on the other’s health insurance benefits, they will need to find new insurance, as they will no longer be covered by their spouse’s insurance once the divorce is finalized.

Older adults need to be aware of the challenges and benefits of getting a divorce before making the decision to do so. A family law attorney can walk you through the process and give you an idea of what to expect when divorcing later in life.

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