One of the fastest-growing groups of people who divorce are those who are age 50 or older. When a couple in this age group divorces, it is often referred to as gray divorce. According to national statistics, approximately 25 percent of all divorces that happen each year in this country are gray divorces.
Many of the couples who go through a gray divorce have been married for years and have now decided to divorce later in life. Maybe they stayed together all those years for the sake of the children or maybe they stayed together because of career or financial reasons.
There are also many couples who divorce at this age who have been married before and this is their second or subsequent marriages. Often, with these couples, having been in bad marriages in the past and through the experience of divorce, decide that it is better to be divorced than stuck in an unhappy marriage.
Whatever the situation or reason, there are unique challenges for older couples divorcing than there are for younger couples. Some of the more important challenges include the following:
· Some people who have been married for a long time find it difficult to adjust to living alone. They may find there are many things that they do not know how to handle themselves because their spouse always took care of these things. They may also struggle with loneliness because it is the first time they have ever been on their own. This can make adjusting to the divorce even harder.
· Since they are divorcing later in life, there are only so many years left to work before being too old for the workforce. If the spouse was not the main breadwinner in the family, they may now find themselves in a very different and difficult financial situation. The spouse who did earn more money may now have to pay spousal support. Both spouses may find that the divorce will make retirement plans much more difficult. This can be particularly true for women who may have spent the majority of the marriage taking care of the children and not working outside the home.
· Couples who do have significant investments and retirement accounts may suddenly be facing a very complex process of dividing up those assets as part of the divorce settlement.
· Going from two incomes to one income – whether still working or retired – may mean that you won’t be able to afford to say in your current living situation. Many people who go through a gray divorce find it is financially necessary to downsize significantly and move to a different location.
· The emotional impact of divorce can be difficult for anyone, but it may be especially harder for older individuals. There may be a feeling of hopelessness, that they wasted their lives with the wrong spouse and will end up living their remaining years alone.
Let a Divorce Attorney Help
A divorce lawyer in Rockville, MD, such as from the Law Office of Daniel Wright, understands the challenges faced by older couples who decide to end their marriage. Contact a law office today to set up a free consultation with a divorce attorney and learn how they can help navigate you through this process.