Many people assume that older Americans aren’t going to get divorced. Older married couples might have been together for decades, but that doesn’t mean that the marriage is perfect. In fact, it’s possible that these marriages might end in a divorce. This is especially true as the average life expectancy has risen over the years and many couples face several healthy decades together after retirement.
The prevalence of older individuals getting divorced is so great that these are dubbed gray divorces. There are many things that lead to those splits, and there are a few unique challenges that come with them.
What leads to gray divorce?
The cause of gray divorce varies from one marriage to another. For some, the issue is that the things that tied them together, such as raising the children, aren’t present any longer. This can lead them to simply grow apart instead of closer.
What are the challenges of divorcing later in life?
One of the biggest challenges of a gray divorce has to do with finances. The retirement accounts that were meant to support one household will now be split across two. This means that there isn’t as much money to live off of. Some people who go through divorce when they’re older find that they have to get a job, despite the fact that they were retired prior to the end of the marriage.
The emotional toll can be great because the support person they thought they’d have for life is gone now. There isn’t that partner to share life with, which can lead to sadness. This is often be overcome by finding a social circle of people with similar interests.
Anyone who’s going through a gray divorce should discuss their situation with an experienced family law attorney. This can help you learn what you need to know so that you can make decisions that will benefit you in the future.