People older than 50 in Texas and throughout the country were more likely to get a divorce in 2010 than people of the same age were 20 years earlier. However, research shows that women may be particularly affected by divorce from a financial standpoint. According to a 2012 report by the Social Security Administration, both widowed and never-married women over the age of 80 were less likely to live in poverty than divorced women. The poverty rate for each group respectively was 15 percent, 17 percent and 22 percent.
Researchers at Bowling Green’s National Center for Family & Marriage Research looked at data on 56,000 women. They found that women who divorced when they were older were more likely to be working between the ages of 50 and 74 than women who divorced at a younger age or not at all.
Some women may struggle to reenter the workforce and may have less earning power after years of caring for children at home. However, researchers also found that women in bad marriages tended to invest more in themselves and fare better after divorce than women who were in marriages that appeared to be more stable.
Texas is a community property state, and this means that property acquired during marriage will for the most part be divided equally by the court unless the parties can otherwise agree. However, it still does not necessarily mean that a person has nothing to worry about regarding financial matters. Estranged spouses might want to speak to their respective attorneys about a strategy for property division. Some people are able to reach a satisfying outcome through negotiations. However, if the other spouse is uncooperative or there are additional issues in the marriage such as abuse or efforts to hide assets, litigation might be necessary.