If you’re 50 years old or older, you may think of yourself as being “beyond” the demographic that typically gets divorced. We often assume that couples in their 30s or 40s, with kids still at home, are the ones splitting up. By 50 or 55, you feel like your marriage is simply bound to make it. 

What you need to know, though, is that you’re in the only age group in the United States where the divorce rate has been going up. Younger couples are actually getting divorced less often, but those over 50 are doing it more. This has led to the term “gray divorce.” It simply refers to those within this age group. 

Gray divorce can have different implications for different people. Maybe you had a child at 35 and they’re now 15. You still do have to think about child custody arrangements, at least for a few more years, just like younger couples. 

For many, though, family life is a thing of the past. The children have their own families and don’t live at home. These couples are thinking about things like retirement planning, ending their careers, buying life insurance and doing estate planning. For them, a divorce is going to have a complex financial impact in a way that it wouldn’t for younger couples with fewer assets. 

Regardless of your own situation, looking at the rising rates tells you that you need to prepare. No one is really immune to the possibility of a divorce in the future. And, if you do end up headed toward a divorce, you need to know exactly what legal steps you should take to best protect your interests.