Divorce In Middle Age Can Be Financially Crippling

In one way, Jeff Bezos and his ex-wife MacKenzie are a very typical middle-aged American couple. They joined the ever-growing number of Americans who are divorcing after age 50. One way that they are definitely not typical is that they have considerable wealth, and the divorce has left them pretty much financially intact. The divorce rate of Americans over 50 has surged in Washington and other states in recent years and is taking a significant financial toll, particularly on women.

Divorce after 50, often called gray divorce, can be very damaging to fiscal, physical and emotional health. The effect of divorce at a later age appears to be more damaging than that of one that occurs when the couple is younger. One recent study showed that older couples who had recently divorced had higher blood pressure than when they were married.

The financial implications can be overwhelming, in particular for women. One study shows that the standard of living for women over 50 can decline by as much as 45%, about twice that as found in younger women following the end of a marriage. The older women may lack the ability to recover from the financial blow as they are nearing the end of their careers. If they stayed home to care for children, they may have difficulty returning to the workforce.

Divorce is never easy, and the implications for an older person in Washington may seem overwhelming. Someone facing the prospect of a divorce after 50 may benefit from seeking professional advice. An experienced professional can review one’s particular situation and may be able to make recommendations for a fair and equitable settlement.

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The Law Offices of Stacy D. Heard, PLLC

Stacy Heard is an accomplished and well-respected family law attorney in Seattle, Washington who has served clients for over 20 years. Stacy specializes in matrimonial and family law. She handles matters of divorce, high-conflict parenting plan/child custody issues, international custody disputes and Hague Convention cases, complex financial issues, relocation, restraining orders, child support, and modifications of Parenting Plans and Child Support Orders.