In Texas and throughout the U.S., older divorce is a growing trend. Unlike people who are younger, this opens the door to a series of factors to consider for people who are closer to retirement and have had a longer time together. The rate of divorce for people age 50 and above had approximately doubled in the past two decades. People age 65 and older saw their divorce rate triple since 1990. This can open the door to an extended dispute over property division.

Researchers have tried to determine why this happens. An extended marriage with children and the changing of lives with the passage of time is often referenced as the impetus to the end of a marriage for an older couple. Once the family-based responsibilities are gone, the couple decides that they want to follow their own path. It is inevitable that there will be emotions involved, living arrangement changes, financial concerns and more. Finances are a common matter in dispute.

Retirement is something that both parties were likely concerned about. Having to change a lifestyle because of a divorce and the financial ramifications is something to consider as the process moves forward. For an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), any transfer must be done from one trustee to the other – simply writing a check to the other spouse will result in taxes and penalties. The division of the IRA must be detailed in the divorce decree. It is wise to have a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). Property division will frequently involve a tax bill and this must be factored in.

Every situation is different and needs individual attention. Regardless of whether a couple was affluent or of more modest means, they will need to consider all the divorce issues that arise in a proceeding between older people. Having legal assistance from an experienced attorney can help to prepare and deal with the entire process from start to end.

Source:, “A costly ‘gray divorce’ can upend your retirement plans,” Tim Sobolewski, June 21, 2017