Regardless of your age, divorce can leave you with a lot of uncertainty. Yet, older individuals can face some unique challenges when they decide to end their marriages, which can leave them both excited and a bit apprehensive about the road ahead.
Main causes of gray divorce
Gray divorces, defined as divorces involving individuals who are age 50 and older, are becoming much more common, and there are multiple reasons.
- Longer life expectancy: One obvious reason is that people are simply living longer. As a result, older individuals who find themselves trapped in a bad marriage feel hopeful that they can get a divorce and spend a significant portion of their life with new happiness.
- Focus on children: Another reason is that a lot of marriages focus on children. Therefore, once a couple’s children grow into adulthood, there’s nothing left to hold the marriage together.
- Simply growing apart: People can change a lot over the course of a lifetime. So it’s only natural to expect that some older couples will find that they’re simply no longer compatible. Their wishes for the future might be different, their values may change, or there might be too much hurt in a relationship to repair.
- Expectations: Marriages have evolved over time, just as gender roles within marriages have. Therefore, expectations are always changing and increasing, which can give rise to marital strain. Those who are unable to meet expectations can see their marriages falter, especially in later life.
The stakes of a gray divorce
There’s a lot at stake in a gray divorce. While children are usually out of the house at this point, thereby ridding the divorce of custody squabbles, property division can be a much more complicated and contentious issue. This is primarily because these couples have often spent a lifetime accumulating wealth and assets that can be hard to divide, and because these older individuals simply don’t have time to rebuild their wealth.
Be prepared for your gray divorce
If you’re considering a gray divorce and are worried about what it means for your future, take comfort knowing that there’s probably a path forward for you to get through the process and move on with your life. An attorney who is experienced handling these types of cases might be able to advocate on your behalf to obtain the best outcome possible so that you can start your next chapter. To learn more about what an attorney can do for you, consider researching and reaching out to one of your choosing.