If you were born between 1946 and 1964, then you can consider yourself a baby boomer. The peers of your age group, as well as those born earlier in time, are part of a developing trend regarding divorce. Current data shows that, in the past 20 or so years, the divorce rate among baby boomers, and spouses who are older than 55 as well, has more than doubled. This is an interesting fact, especially considering that the overall rate of divorce across the country has been on a steady decline.
If you’re currently considering filing for divorce, you might be able to relate to other spouses who have chosen a similar path later in life. There are numerous issues that appear to be common among individuals who are age 55 and older, issues that often lead to marital break-ups. Going separate ways after 20, 30 or even more years together can be a legally complex process, which is why it’s important to build a strong support network from the start.
Does living longer have a negative effect on marriage?
People typically live a lot longer nowadays than they used to. An extended lifespan is likely linked to improved eating habits, exercise, and more. Being alive longer also happens to mean that a man or woman living in modern times has a greater chance of being married a lot longer than their ancestors did. Many people say this might not always be a good thing.
If you noticed your marriage began to decline after your children were grown and on their own, perhaps after you’d been with your spouse 25 or 30 years, you are definitely not alone in your struggle.
Remarriage might also increase risk of divorce
If your current marriage is not your first, you might stand a greater chance of another divorce than people of similar age who have only had one spouse. Analysts say that spouses ages 50 and beyond who have remarried may be twice as likely to file for gray divorce than those who have only been married once.
The financial aspect of a gray divorce that occurs after remarriage can be complicated. You might have a blended family or already pay child support or alimony due to an existing court order from a previous marriage. Such issues can cause serious financial concerns if another divorce occurs.
Less stigma associated with divorce now
You might be one of many Florida spouses who are simply more comfortable with the idea of divorce now than you were 20 years ago. In fact, the collective attitude throughout the nation shows less of a negative stigma concerning divorce than there was in the 1950s – 1970s.
This has prompted many spouses to decide they’d rather move on in life as a single person than stay in an unhappy relationship. You might have heard older people say that divorce was frowned upon when they were younger. Times have changed, and many people who file for gray divorce say they had the confidence to do so because society no longer disapproves of the idea.
What makes gray divorce unique?
Aside from the fact that a gray divorce insinuates that you are age 55 or beyond, there are other issues that often arise for late-in-life divorces with which younger spouses may not have to contend. For instance, if you sacrificed having a career to stay home and raise your family, you might find it challenging in many ways to re-enter the workforce at an older age.
Issues concerning retirement or Social Security benefits, estate planning and other matters may also be high priority topics in a gray divorce. You and your spouse might own a business together or have a diverse financial portfolio because of investments you’ve made through the years. This is why it pays to speak to someone well versed in the financial and legal aspects of gray divorce to help protect your interests as you make plans for a new lifestyle.