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Divorce after 50 continues to rise

Some older Delaware couples who might be considering ending their long-term marriage might be surprised to find that gray divorce, or divorce for couples over 50, continues to rise even as it remains or decreases in other age ranges. There are a variety of reasons that have led to the increase, which also brings its own set of challenges.

Why is gray divorce on the rise?

Like in many other divorces, a major factor in gray divorce is money or a couple’s finances. Whether the issues come from one spouse mismanaging money or the primary income earner controlling all the decisions, finances can be a determining factor for couples choosing to end the marriage. However, there are other factors that have also impacted the rise of gray divorce. These include:

  • Addictions such as gambling, drugs, alcohol and even pornography
  • The fallout after children leave the home and couples realize they have grown apart
  • Infidelity as couples find themselves in different stages sexually
  • Women gaining confidence and financial independence
  • People living longer, healthier lives
  • Growing apart and falling out of love or in love with someone else
  • A retirement that might not reflect the expectations each person has

Challenges resulting from a gray divorce

Just like finances are a major factor that leads to gray divorce, the effect on finances is often one of the biggest challenges divorced older couples will face. A late-in-life split can threaten financial retirement plans since couples will have less or no time to recover after divorce. It can even result in one or both spouses falling into poverty. Emotionally, gray divorce can also result in depression and loneliness.

Gray divorce can be challenging, but careful planning and preparation can help offset some of those challenges. If you are in this situation, you might choose to consult with a family law attorney to help you begin the process.