Divorcing Later in Life
It is now so common for older couples to separate that there is a term for it – “Gray Divorce”. According to Susan Brown, co-director of the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, current divorce rates for couples over 50 doubled between 1990 and 2009. The reasons are similar to causes of divorce at any time in a marriage:
- financial issues
- poor earlier marriage decisions
- a desire for independence
In couples over 50 there’s an additional issue that presents itself – the empty nest syndrome. The children are out of the house and now that there are only the two marriage partners around, relationship issues previously pushed to the side are now more obvious and cannot be ignored.
Divorce may be the right choice for many couples at any time in their marriage however older couples may face additional challenges. Things for older couples considering divorce to think about:
- How will you deal with the initial loneliness of not having someone else in your home?
- Will you want to meet new people?
- Where / how will you the go about getting into the single social situations?
- Are most of your friends married?– if so, how do you think your separation will impact those relationships?
- How will you get along with typically less money available to each partner after the divorce?
- Splitting the marriage assets can be an emotional task especially if they are attached to good family memories.
- There are rules regarding division of retirement funds, social security and other late-in-life financial concerns – how will these impact the future lives of the divorcing couples.
At New York Divorce Mediation Group we are trained to help guide you through the process and ease your separation thereby lessening one of the key concerns of divorcing couples at any stage in their married life – the time and high costs of going through a litigated divorce. Please call us to for a free confidential consultation to discuss your situation.