The National Center for Family and Marriage Research reports that older couples are getting divorced at higher rates today than ever before. In fact, between 1990 and 2010, the divorce rate for those over 55 has more than doubled. It has almost tripled for those over the age of 65 as well.
These later-in-life divorces are often referred to as “gray divorces.” While all divorces can be challenging, older individuals face unique obstacles and experiences by divorcing later in life. While a Salt Lake City divorce attorney will be able to walk you through all of the concerns of your particular situation, some of the more unique aspects of these divorces are outlined below.
- Retirement Considerations
By the time you reach your 50s and 60s, you likely have already thought about your plans for retirement and started saving years ago. However, for couples, that savings plan often included another person. When you go through a divorce, you can no longer rely on the other person’s income to provide that support. That can significantly alter some retirement plans, forcing individuals to work longer.
In some cases where there is only one primary breadwinner in the family, one spouse may not have any savings for retirement. They were relying on the other spouse’s continual support even through their golden years. Thankfully, alimony or spousal maintenance is likely to be awarded in those situations. A divorce attorney in Salt Lake City can walk you through those potential options.
Gray divorces can also have an unexpected impact on adult children. While many people overlook children in this type of separation, assuming that they are adults and they can handle the situation, divorce can be hard on children of any age. Adults may begin to question whether their entire family life was “real” or what they could have done to support their parents and save their marriage.
Parents also sometimes inappropriately lean on adult children during this changing time in their lives. They may want to confide in adult children as if they are friends, not kids. However, hearing complaints about the other parent or listening to new dating stories can be hard on children.
Couples that get divorced later in life may have been married for decades. It will take an adjustment period to learn how to live without this other person, even if your relationship has been on the rocks for some time. Loneliness issues are relatively common after a gray divorce, and many people simply do not know how to live by themselves anymore.
It is a good idea to make efforts to spend time with family and friends after a gray divorce to combat these feelings. For some, individual or group therapy can be helpful. Nonetheless, you will need to learn to be by yourself again. Give yourself time to make this adjustment.