An increasing number of people in Virginia and across the country are choosing to divorce at a later stage in life. While divorce trends have remained steady or even decreased for younger Americans, the rates for people aged 50 and up have doubled in the past 30 years. Of course, younger people are still more likely to divorce, but the advent of increasing rates for older people leads to new considerations about health and finances. Divorcing later in life can have significant effects on people’s well-being, especially as the end of a marriage is known to be a major life stressor.

There can be a number of physical and psychological health concerns associated with divorce, especially when older people with existing medical issues are involved. Later-in-life divorces are often associated with higher levels of depression or anxiety. These can be linked to physical changes as well. This is especially true because depression and stress are linked to heart disease, obesity, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Many people become less active and more sedentary after a divorce, and they may find it difficult to sleep. These can lead to an overall decline in health.

Another major concern is isolation, especially for older people who are in retirement. They may find few reasons to leave the house, and this isolation can be compounded if a person is depressed. People may lose some of their social relationships after the divorce and may look for new ones, making them more vulnerable to con artists or online romance scams as a result.

Of course, many older people can emerge from divorce happily and with their health intact. A family law attorney can often help negotiate a fair settlement on a range of matters, including property division and spousal support.