Minnesota couples considering divorce after the age of 50 might be interested in learning they are part of a growing trend. Divorce rates in this age bracket have doubled in recent years and spawned the term “gray divorce.” Older couples suffering financial losses during a divorce have less time to recoup those losses than younger individuals. Unfortunately, statistics show that many spouses still allow their partners to make most major financial decisions. This can cause surprises and long-term money problems after a marriage ends.

A recent survey targeted 600 widowed and divorced women over 50 and 1,500 couples in the same age bracket. In couples, 56 percent of women admitted to trusting their spouse with most financial decisions. Of the divorced and widowed women, 59 percent expressed regret for not taking a greater role in their previous marital finances. Nearly 60 percent of divorced women said they were greeted with unknown information during the course of their marital split. Not all surprises were negative as some women discovered retirement and other investment plans about which they had been unaware.

Taking a hands-off approach is especially dangerous for women. Since women have a longer life expectancy than men, they are more likely to be forced to learn financial management under pressure even in marriages that do not end in divorce. Over 90 percent of divorced and widowed women surveyed say they would strongly recommend demanding complete transparency regarding finances for anyone considering marriage. Four out of five remarried women say they took a more active role in managing family finances in subsequent marriages than in their initial relationships.

There is never a good time for divorce, but more couples than ever are deciding to leave unhappy relationships later in life. Consulting a qualified divorce lawyer may help individuals identify strategies and risks related to marital dissolution for couples of all ages.