How divorce can affect people over 50

For some people in South Carolina, divorce can cause both emotional and financial stress. Studies show that this stress can be even more acute for adults who are older than 50, and divorce is on the rise among this age group.

Several studies on how divorce affects people have been conducted by the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green University. Divorce among older people is sometimes referred to as “gray divorce,” and according to one study, it can cause higher rates of depression than the death of a spouse. Another study found that for women, a gray divorce meant a 45% drop in the standard of living. For men, the drop was 21%.

A number of factors contribute to these difficulties. One is that older adults simply may not have time to recover financially from divorce. Women, in particular, suffer financially after a gray divorce, and those who have stayed at home with children may struggle to reenter the workforce. Women older than 62 who have been through a gray divorce have the highest poverty rate of all other groups at that age of 27%. Divorce can also hurt work performance. One paper that appeared in the “Journal of Financial Economics” found that even hedge fund managers underperform after a divorce.

With this information in mind, people who are going through a divorce might want to talk to an attorney about strategies for remaining financially stable. For example, a lower-earning spouse might want to consider costs associated with keeping the family home versus penalties and taxes associated with a retirement account. It is important to take these expenses into account when assessing the value of shared property. Spousal support may also be important in helping some people after divorce.