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Gray Divorce Can Be Financially Devastating for Women

There’s a significant societal assumption that when a man and woman divorce, the wife will automatically end up “taking him for everything he has.” Nothing could be further from the truth, especially when it comes to “gray” divorce. When couples over the age of 50 divorce, it can be financially devastating for the female partner.

Divorcing after 50

After decades of marriage, it can be surprising when one or both partners call it quits. However, 36 percent of people who divorce are over age 50. In April 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau found that about 35 percent of people who got divorced in 2020 were 55 or older—more than twice the rate of any other age group.

This can be financially devastating, especially for women: their standard of living declines by 45 percent, whereas a man’s standard of living declines by 21 percent. A divorce in your “golden years” means that there’s less time for a person to work long enough to recoup the losses. That also means that women who stayed out of the workforce to raise a family are at a significant disadvantage.

Gray divorces leave 27 percent of women living below the federal poverty line, compared with 14 percent of men. The gender-based wage gap, social expectations of child-rearing and caretaking and resume gaps can make it especially hard. Furthermore, “[w]omen who experienced a gray divorce, on average, can count on less than $14,000 per year from Social Security.”

What to do

If you’re facing a gray divorce, it’s crucial to hire a lawyer and a financial advisor. Ending a marriage is a serious proposition, especially if you’ve been together for several decades. Having outside help ensures that someone else is looking out for your best interests, including future long-term care, living arrangements and more.

While gray divorce can be financially devastating for everyone, having a great lawyer on your side will help. The savvy divorce attorneys at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. in Washington County can help. Call today for a consultation.

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Client testimonials
  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties.Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.


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