Divorcing Later In Life
Divorcing at any age can be an emotional and stressful endeavor, but ending a marriage later in life tends to come with its own set of difficulties. For instance, many couples who have been together for a number of years, or even decades, find it hard to adapt to living apart and may also face financial challenges. Dividing assets also often ends up being more complicated, as are the emotional aspects of ending a marriage that lasted for so long.
Gray divorce is a term used to describe a divorce where a couple has been married for 20 years or more. Although the rate of divorce among older couples is still relatively low, it has been steadily increasing in recent years, a trend that has been attributed to a few different factors, including:
- Retirement, which can be stressful for some couples, especially if one spouse is reluctant to do so or if the parties start facing financial difficulties;
- Finances, as couples who are nearing retirement often have different ideas about how to best use their savings, which can lead to disagreement and conflict;
- Infidelity, which can be devastating to any marriage, but may be even more painful for couples who have a longer shared history; and
- Empty Nest Syndrome, which is a term used to describe how many couples feel when their children are out of the house, leaving them with more time on their hands and in some cases, less in common.
Whatever the cause for the end of a marriage, gray divorce often presents couples with a number of unique challenges.
Challenges of a Gray Divorce
One of the most challenging parts of divorcing later in life is grappling with property division. For instance, those who have been married for a number of years are more likely to have built up joint assets, which can be a lot harder to divide than separate property. Couples will likely need to divide savings, investments, and real estate, along with any valuable personal possessions. Dividing up these assets can be complicated, as both parties often feel as though they are entitled to the entire portion of a particular piece of property. Couples will also need to assess how their incomes will be affected by divorce. If one spouse previously relied on the other’s income, he or she may need to find a new source of financial support, which can be difficult for those who are older or who haven’t worked in a number of years.
Finally, divorcing later in life can be emotionally difficult, with many couples finding it painful to cut ties with someone with whom they have been close for so long. Many former spouses suffer from feelings of isolation and loneliness after a gray divorce.
Are You Thinking About Filing for Divorce?
Dedicated Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. has over 20 years of experience helping Florida residents through the legal aspects of what often ends up being one of the most difficult parts of their lives. If you are thinking about divorce, call us at 954-945-7591 or set up a free consultation by filling out an online contact form.