You may have noticed that in New York and throughout the nation, more and more older people are getting divorced than ever before. In fact, the trend is rising so quickly, some have coined the term “gray divorce” to describe it. If you are age 50 or older and are considering or preparing for divorce, then this colloquial phrase applies to your situation as well. Many wonder why couples who have been together for 30, 40 or 50 or more years would decide to divorce.
If you’ve been married more than three decades, you might as well just stick it out, right? While that may be the ultimate choice some people make, others (perhaps yourself included) determine divorce as the most viable option to resolve their marital problems. The details of your particular situation may vary from other couples in similar situations who decide to divorce. Then again, you may have several factors in common. The divorce process can be complicated at age 50 or beyond, so it’s important to know where to seek support.
Top reasons the over-50 crowd gets divorced
There’s no definite way to predict which marriages will last and which will end in divorce. The following list, however, provides basic reasons many people who divorce later in life cite as their decisions:
- Increased life expectancy: Generally speaking, people live longer nowadays than they did even three or four decades ago. Some people who file for gray divorce say they and their former spouses simply out-lived each other, meaning, as they entered their golden years, they found they had nothing left in common and were merely co-existing together in marriage.
- Baby boomers may be at risk: Data suggests the baby boomer generation seems prone toward gray divorce due to the increased amount of remarriages in this age group. Statistics also show that remarriages are often at higher risk for divorce than others, thus making the baby boomer generation vulnerable to gray divorce.
- Adult kids living back home: Do you have a son or daughter who divorced, then moved back in with you and brought your grand kids? Some older couples say the adjustment of having adult children living back at home and other stress involved in such situations is sometimes more than an older marriage can bear.
Some spouses simply decide they are no longer willing to overlook many faults, unresolved problems and stressful issues with which they’d been contending for years. Something changes and they become determined to start new lives separate from their spouses. Others perhaps put dreams and plans on hold to stay home and raise their families. Once their kids have moved on in life, they see no reason to stay married.
No matter what your specific reasons for divorce are, it’s always helpful to have support when navigating the process, which is often complex and stressful. Older people may encounter serious challenges concerning property division or other financial matters. Acting alongside experienced guidance can help alleviate stress and ensure a fair and agreeable settlement.