When you reach your 50s, 60s, 70s or even your 80s, you may find that you no longer want to be with your spouse. People change over the years, and the difference between your ages or functional abilities at this stage of life may make you want to separate.
Gray divorces are becoming more common. In fact, the gray divorce rate has doubled since 1990. You’re more likely to go through a divorce like this if you’ve had a divorce in the past, but people also choose to divorce at this age due to many issues, such as:
- Having children grow up and leave the home
- Differences in medical conditions
- Different retirement goals and priorities
- Financial problems
It is true that having good finances can shield some couples against gray divorce. Studies have shown that those who do not have college degrees, as well as those who are unemployed, are at a greater risk of divorcing due to financial issues. Retirement itself was not the same as being unemployed in the study and did not have the same influence.
What brings on a gray divorce so late in life?
Some believe that gray divorces are more likely the cause of problems that have built up over time. For example, a couple that had children together and who dealt with adultery at a younger age may decide to divorce once their children move out. Long-held animosity can also be a cause of a gray divorce. For instance, being resentful of having to give up career options or having to move away from loved ones at a younger age could grow into a larger issue in later adulthood.
Gray divorces are common, and one may be right for you
Gray divorce isn’t uncommon, and it is increasing among those 50 and older over time. If you don’t want to be with your spouse, you do have the option to look into divorce as an option for moving forward. There are special factors to consider, like your retirement and savings, but with the right support and plan, you can separate, divorce and move on with the rest of your life.