For people of all ages, divorce can be one of life’s most stressful events, and this can lead to health problems. Older adults, who are divorcing at twice the rate they did in 1990, should be particularly mindful since these health problems can worsen conditions associated with age such as high blood pressure.

Divorcing adults may also use poor coping mechanisms, such as alcohol abuse, overeating or overspending, to deal with depression and anxiety. Insomnia can cause exercise to fall by the wayside. Men who depended on their wives to maintain their social relationships might become more isolated. Women who stayed home with children or earned less money and put less away for retirement might struggle to afford basic necessities after divorce.

Despite these risks, some people experience a surge in energy after divorce and pursue new interests or relationships. Some crucial steps for maintaining health during divorce and after divorce include limiting alcohol and making an effort to exercise regularly. People may isolate themselves, so they should try to get out of the house every day and reach out socially by joining a church or club. People who are experiencing physical symptoms should be checked out by a doctor in case other conditions are causing them, and they might want to consider counseling.

Older adults may have built up significant shared assets throughout a long marriage. They may own a business along with investments and retirement accounts. Dividing these accounts can be a complex process, and it is important that they understand how capital gains tax or other taxes and penalties can affect the value of an asset if it is sold or divided. An attorney may be able to help a person put a strategy together for negotiating property division or for going into litigation.