In Arizona and across the United States, “gray divorces” among couples over 50 are becoming more common. Gray divorces have doubled during the past 20 years. While understanding the reasons for a gray divorce may present unique challenges, one thing is certain – women who get gray divorces suffer more than men. For many older women, a gray divorce signals the end of a marriage in which their husbands were the primary breadwinners.

From raising children to washing laundry, preparing meals and cleaning the house, women do not always have time to work outside of the home. Accordingly, a gray divorce can cause an older woman to feel devastated because her husband is no longer part of the financial picture. Plus, many women do not have any retirement savings, including 401(k) plans or even personal individual retirement accounts (IRAs).

From spousal support to the division of assets, women have specific legal rights that may help them to experience a better financial future. Consequently, some women may need to seek the counsel of a family law attorney prior to getting a divorce. Another problem with gray divorces is that numerous women have not been in the workforce for many years. Women who married young may have never held any jobs. A gray divorce means that a woman must now take care of her financial needs without having had and prior work experience.

Frustrating and challenging, gray divorces typically result in women losing properties, money and other assets. Setting up an initial consultation with a family law attorney may help a woman forge a strong financial strategy for her future. Divorce includes the division of assets, spousal support and possibly receiving a portion of the husband’s pension plan. A consultation with a divorce attorney may result in clarifying a complex financial situation.