The concept of marriage for a lifetime seems to be fading, and in no age group is this evidenced more than among those closest to retirement age. Couples age 50 and older are the rising demographic of divorce clients, and researchers are curious about why this seems to be the new trend. While every marriage is unique and every divorcing couple has their personal reasons, some studies have shown common elements that lead to so-called “gray divorce.”
Many gray divorces are second marriages, which typically have a higher rate of divorce to begin with. However, some are unions of many decades. Experts say these long-term marriages come to an end for a variety of reasons, including:
- Better health care and healthier living habits lead to longer lifespan, and some do not want to spend the next 20 years with the same spouse.
- Some couples have been harboring resentments for decades, and now that the kids are out of the house, they no longer have a reason to stay together.
- Moms who have stayed home to raise children are now looking to re-enter the workforce just as their spouses are getting ready to retire.
- Some spouses feel they are not married to their soul mates, and they want one more chance to try to find someone with whom they can connect.
The ramifications of a gray divorce can be very serious. They include the division of a lifetime of assets, the challenge of finding ways to support oneself when resources are low and the splitting of a retirement savings on the cusp of retirement. Since many struggle financially following divorce even in the best of circumstances, a gray divorce may be all the more reason to seek sound advice from an experienced legal professional.