Even before the isolation due to the recent global health crisis began eating away at marriages in Florida and across the country, one demographic was already seeing a significant rise in divorce rates. That group of people was couples over the age of 50. Analysts call these breakups “gray divorces,” and if you are among those over 50 facing the end of your marriage, you may want to understand the reasons why.
Of course, every marriage is unique, and every divorce arises from its own collection of factors. When it comes to gray divorces, however, studies show that some commonalities exist among them. Whether you are divorcing from your second marriage or from a decades-old first marriage, you have many issues to consider to avoid the personal and financial struggles that often follow in the months and years after a breakup.
Is this happening to you?
Like most people, you probably entered your marriage with certain expectations. Many of those expectations may have been romantic and unrealistic, and some couples can successfully adjust to the reality of marriage and family life. For others, however, the disappointment grows as they get older. Perhaps now they want an opportunity to pursue those dreams they gave up to raise a family. Other common reasons for gray divorce include the following:
- Longer life expectancy and better health care prompts some to decide they don’t want to spend their golden years with the same person.
- Raising kids is stressful, and once the kids leave, many couples do not feel the same about each other as they did when they married.
- Stay-at-home moms want to get back into the workforce just as their spouses are thinking about retirement.
- People naturally grow and change, and after decades of marriage, they sometimes grow apart instead of together.
- Some realize they are not with their soul mate, and they want a chance to try to find one.
As with any marriage, years of substance abuse, domestic violence, pornography, infidelity and other serious issues can take their toll, and some spouses simply decide enough is enough.
Of course, your situation may be like none of those listed above. However, divorce after 50 is almost always complex, especially if it involves dividing retirement plans, investments and a lifetime of marital assets. Fortunately, it is not an impossible endeavor to complete.