It is becoming increasingly common for older people in Michigan and across the U.S. to get divorced. These "gray divorces" involving people over the age of 50 have been on the rise throughout the past couple of decades. According to researchers from Bowling Green State University, gray divorce doubled between 1990 and 2014.
There are a number of different theories about why divorce rates among older people have been going up while overall divorce rates are decreasing. Some of the factors that could play into the gray divorce trend are a growing elderly population and changes in societal norms. Whatever the causes may be, divorces later in life usually involve more complicated property division negotiations than the divorces of younger spouses.
A new financial product called a divorce mortgage has been proposed as a solution to one of the common problems that elderly divorcing spouses face. In many gray divorces, spouses own a house together that they are forced to sell. With a divorce mortgage, one spouse can stay in the marital home and take out a loan to buy their ex-spouse out for their share. The divorce mortgage is not available yet, but Forbes predicts that the financial product could be available before 2017.
A person who is going through a divorce during their senior years may want to have representation from an attorney. If an elderly spouse wishes to remain in the marital home after the divorce, an attorney may be able to help negotiate for a buy-out. A lawyer may also help elderly spouses to negotiate for spousal support agreements and division of their retirement benefits.