After being married for several decades or more, most Pennsylvania spouses have reached age 55 or beyond. In the past 20 years, the divorce rate in this age group has doubled. Many older people are filing petitions in family law court after deciding that they want to spend their golden years as singles or, at least, without their current spouses.

Divorce is never easy, but current data shows it may be even more stressful for those who pursue it late in life. Women, in particular, often encounter serious financial challenges when they end a marriage, especially if they sacrificed a career to stay home and raise their families. An astounding 27 percent of “gray divorce” women live in poverty, as opposed to just 11 percent of men in similar situations.

Economic instability can have tremendously negative consequences on a person’s overall health. Physical health may suffer if there are not enough funds to make ends meet and put food on a table. Emotional and mental health problems can also arise, with many elders suffering from depression and feelings of isolation and loneliness after late-life divorce.

Laying the groundwork for a financially stable, healthy lifestyle following a late-life divorce may be easier if a spouse turns to an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney for guidance and support. This is often the best means to protect one’s financial interests in court. An attorney always has a client’s best interests in mind, which includes a person’s physical, mental and emotional health as it relates to litigation issues.