Divorces among older couples in long-term marriages continue to grow at an increasing rate. Referred to as “gray divorce,” these late-in-life marital dissolutions currently make up 25 percent of all divorces, with one in 10 involving couples 65 and older.
The increase in the older divorce demographic can be attributed to the divorce stigma having less of a sting than in decades past. Couples who grow apart are more than willing to make the change. Empty nesters, in particular, come to the realization that what kept them together was their children.
People are also living longer while facing anywhere from 20 to 40 more years with their spouses. Whether it was due to a lost “spark” or fear of complacency, they are more willing than ever to pull the plug on a failed union.
A variety of factors
The factors involving gray divorce make it one of the more unique forms of marital dissolution. In addition to the stereotypical generational roles, couples are almost or entirely retired. Dividing assets become complicated. Marriages that are longer and become outright contentious create complications when it comes to dividing assets that involve retirement accounts.
Factors that are similar to the “traditional divorce” process involve money. Spouses who put aside careers to care for the family home often fear financial uncertainty in an already cloudy future. However, they are just as eligible to continue to enjoy the lifestyle they had while married as their younger counterparts.
Divorce is a life-changing time, particularly for those who waited until their “golden years” to end their marital relationships. Help from an experienced divorce lawyer can mean the difference between certainty and uncertainty when looking at a post-divorce future.