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How does divorcing after 50 affect women?

Are you a woman age 50 or over who is considering or moving forward with a divorce? You are not alone. The divorce rate in this demographic has doubled in the U.S. since 1990. Every situation is unique, of course, but few life changes can be more emotionally and financially devastating than divorce. Read on to learn how to best prepare yourself emotionally and financially for this life-change.

Here are some key things to know so you better prepare yourself.

The emotional side

  • Depression: Studies show that women aged 50 and over experience higher rates of depression as a result of divorce than younger women do. 
  • What you can do: Make sure you have your support system in place. Find a licensed therapist, join a support group, and stay connected with friends.

The physical side

  • High blood pressure: Studies have noted a higher resting blood pressure for recently divorced women.
  • Weight gain: This one tends to affect men more in the long run, but it is a detrimental health aspect worth noting for women to pay attention to.
  • What you can do: Even if you feel fine, it's a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor to monitor and address any health concerns you may have during and after the divorce.

The financial side

  • Difficulty re-entering work force: Going through a gray divorce may be particularly hard for women who spent years at home caring for children. This factor identifies the difficulties you may face re-entering the work force, which plays into where you fall on the poverty scale. According to researchers, women divorcing later may face a higher poverty rate.
  • Concern about retirement savings: This often happens to women with divorce after 50, especially if you were counting on a share of your husband's accounts.
  • What you can do: Every situation is different. Discuss your financial situation with an experienced divorce attorney for guidance.

Divorce is stressful and can affect your life in many ways. Taking the steps to educate yourself along the way and creating a support system are just a few ways you can prioritize and address your needs.

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Louis Charles Shapiro, P.A.
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