Divorcing after 50? You’re not alone

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Divorce on Wednesday, March 23, 2016.

If you have been married for 20 years or more, you and those around you may assume that your marriage is one that will last forever. There is an assumption that if you stay married through career changes, loss of loved ones, having and raising children and welcoming grandchildren into the world, then you have made it through the “hard part” and the rest of your marriage will be happy and easy.

However, in reality, many older couples find that after going through the decades of building and raising family, job changes and other events, they are actually ready to end a marriage and start a new chapter. In fact, divorcing later in life is becoming so prevalent that there is a term to describe the movement: gray divorce.

When trends like this first start developing, there may be little or no research or data to explain them or offer any context. But in regard to gray divorce, there are more and more studies coming out that compare divorce rates and offer potential reasons for changes that we are seeing.

For instance, according to this article in Next Avenue, five factors that may be contributing to the rise in gray divorce include:

  1. Growing apart
  2. Age differences or need for a reboot after middle age
  3. Boredom
  4. Money 
  5. Hormonal changes and shifts in intimacy

When we look at these factors, it can seem obvious that such issues might bubble up or lead to a breaking point when couples get older. After all, the kids may be out of the house and this can open up space emotionally, physically and financially for spouses to reassess themselves and their marriage.

Further, couples who are 50 and older can start seeing the next chapter of their lives very differently from each other. One person might want to travel and spend money while the other prefers to stay home with family and protect a financial next egg that has been building up.

Considering the fact that 25 percent of divorces involved couples over 50 in 2010, it is an issue that many older couples will be confronted with. If you are in this situation, you should know that you are not alone, and you don’t have to navigate the difficult divorce process alone, either.