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Gray divorce more common, can cause health problems

Divorce has been linked to depression and stress that can exacerbate existing health conditions and increase the risk of other problems for seniors. People in Texas who are approaching or going through a divorce later in life should keep the increased likelihood of health issues in mind. Knowing what to expect allows for preparation so that divorcing couples are not taken by surprise.

In Texas and across the United States, people are increasingly getting divorced after the age of 50. The movement was first identified in a study by researchers from Bowling Green State University. So-called gray divorce may be growing more likely due to factors like increased financial autonomy for woman and longer life expectancy. Being remarried also increases the chances of gray divorce. Those who are in their second or third marriages are 2.5 times more likely to divorce again.

Divorce rates have doubled since the year 1990 for people who are at least 50 years old. For people in their 40s, the divorce rate is only slightly more than it was in 1990. Rates of divorce have fallen for people under 40 years old.

Divorcing later in life can lead to psychological conditions or physical problems. Chronic stress can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, insomnia or a weakened immune system. Psychological distress may manifest as lack of focus, fatigue, mood swings, muscle aches or changes in appetite.

Individuals who are divorcing later in life might want to seek the advice of a lawyer. A lawyer with experience in family law might be able to help by negotiating the terms of property settlement or helping the couple divide retirement accounts to minimize tax liability. A lawyer might draft and file the petition for divorce or argue on the client’s behalf during alimony hearings.