Gray divorce is a relatively new term and refers to an increasing trend of divorces among couples in their 50s or older. These divorce cases have unique needs and considerations, especially given the typical duration of the marriage. Most gray divorces follow marriages that lasted for decades. What causes marriages that lasted so long to dissolve?
There are a few common causes of gray divorce to understand.
Sometimes referred to as growing apart, older couples often find that their goals are different when faced with an empty nest. Years of raising children and dedicating hours to career pursuits can lead to changing visions which become most apparent once the children move out.
Money is often a source of contention in any divorce, but in a gray divorce, it takes on a different level of importance. When one spouse is irresponsible with money, the other spouse may develop concerns about protecting retirement funds and assets for future needs. This can lead to divorce.
While most people think about infidelity as most common among younger couples, it is a cause of gray divorce as well. Whether due to a lack of intimacy from hormone level changes, midlife crisis issues or changing interests, infidelity is another common reason for gray divorce.
Starting over in your 50s and beyond can feel scary, but it provides you an opportunity to forge the path you want for your final chapter in life. Consider your financial and retirement goals as well as your emotional needs as you decide if divorce is right for you.