More than any other time in history, American adults have freedom and possibility in their lives that last to a much later age. Well into their fifties and beyond, Americans are able to enjoy new hobbies, new job prospects and other important adventures.
Older couples are also getting divorced with greater frequency than they have in the past. Although this is a great opportunity for many older couples to experience a newfound freedom, there are also significant challenges involved.
According to Pew Research Center, adults age 50 and above are more likely to get divorced than in the past: “In 2015, for every 1,000 married adults ages 50 and older, 10 had divorced – up from five in 1990. Among those ages 65 and older, the divorce rate roughly tripled since 1990.”
The divorce rate has tripled for people aged 65 and older in less than 20 years. That is a remarkable statistic.
The Benefits and Challenges of Late-Life Divorce
On the positive side, so-called “gray divorce” allows older couples to be free from unhappy marriages, to start over with new directions in life and to find freedom to pursue one’s dreams.
There are, however, some significant challenges involved:
- Changing estate planning needs
- Financial complications for housing and retirement planning
- Personal challenges in leaving a spouse after many years of marriage
For many older couples, although divorce looks like a great opportunity, closer examination reveals some deeper issues. For many older couples, too much time and heart has been spent building the relationship – too much history has been shared to throw in the towel in the later years.
However, if you decide that divorce is best for you in your later years, you will face many issues that are unique to gray divorce, and you will need legal help. Talk with an experienced attorney right away.