Divorce later in life, also know as “silver” or “gray” divorce, is becoming a more common occurrence throughout the country. In fact, according to U.S. New and World Report, the number of people over the age of 50 that have chosen to divorce had more than doubled between 1990 and 2010. There are many reasons why older couples, especially those who have been together for decades, may choose to divorce. As with any divorce, each proceeding is unique, and late life divorces are no exception.
Some Reasons for Late Life Divorce
According to The New York Times, while there are many unique reasons for divorcing later in life, some common trends can be seen. One of these trends is that, either because of previous divorce or the loss of a previous spouse, many older couples seeking divorce are in a situation where they have remarried and have struggled throughout the new marriage to successfully blend families and other dynamics together. Statistically, remarriages are more likely to end in divorce than first marriages.
Another common reason for divorce later in life is life expectancy. As our life expectancy continues to increase, the potential for a much longer marriage exists. People in their 50s may realize that, while a marriage might not be particularly bad for any given reason, their marriage may no longer be providing them with what they want out of that marriage. In such cases, many people may begin asking themselves whether or not they are prepared to remain in a situation for potentially another 30 years if they are not completely happy with the dynamics of that relationship. When the answer is no, divorce becomes an option even after decades of an otherwise successful marriage. This type of situation is especially prevalent after children have left the home and have begun independent lives of their own. Once that happens, there is far less of a reason to “stay together just for the kids.” Without focusing a great deal of time and energy on children, older married couples may find they no longer have much in common and would prefer to explore other options in life.
The article notes that women are more likely to file for divorce later in life as their roles in marriage and society continue to evolve. Men are often less likely to want to initiate a change in the status quo, but with the stigma of divorce decreasing with each passing year, women are often more likely to assert their independence in a situation where they are simply not happy with the status quo.
Legal Assistance with Divorce
There are many legal implications for any divorce, but these implications may sometimes be heightened for divorces that occur later in life. However, each person has the right to be happy and healthy, and sometimes that means leaving a marriage that no longer works for them regardless of the age. Divorce is always a difficult decision, but can be even more difficult for couples that have been married for an extended period of time. There are often more financial repercussions to take into consideration, but they are not insurmountable. If you are pondering a divorce later in life, you should contact a family law attorney that has experience handling a variety of different types of divorce. You may be able to have many of your questions answered through a consultation, and that can help you make your final decision as to whether or not divorce later in life is the right option for you. Contact Eversole Law to schedule a consultation where you can find out more about the divorce process and how it might affect you based on your individual circumstances.