While some studies show that the divorce rate in certain demographics is declining, the rate of divorce in couples older than 50 is increasing. Often called “senior divorce” or “grey divorce,” this trend has seemed to follow the Baby Boomer generation into their silver years.
Since every couple is unique and each divorce is different, there are myriad reasons why individuals might choose to dissolve their marriage, including:
- Growing apart: After decades of marriage, it is unlikely that personalities remain the same. Additionally, a personality foible that might have been endearing in the past could easily grow into an annoyance 30 years later. In many cases, elder couples simply grow apart and choose to explore new relationships as the years go on.
- Increased life expectancy: Closely tied to the first, the second reason centers on increased health and a greater life expectancy. Individuals might be teetering on the edge of deciding to divorce and then realize they will likely be alive for another 30 years. Many couples decide to separate and start a new relationship.
- Addiction: It is not uncommon for a marriage to fall apart because of addiction. Individuals can become addicted to alcohol, drugs, prescription medication, gambling or any other type of vice. This addiction can drive a wedge between two partners ultimately leading to divorce.
- Infidelity: Better health and longer lives combined with technology and the ease of finding a new partner over the internet has led many married individuals astray. Cheating might be the single most significant factor in any divorce regardless of age, health or wealth.
Divorcing couples, no matter their age, will face significant pressure while navigating this process. Depending on their unique circumstances, they will likely face the stress of property division, spousal support and debt division. In a grey divorce, it is unlikely that there will be considerations for minor children – but it is not completely out of the question. No matter your reason, it is wise to seek the guidance of a skilled divorce attorney.