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Are you facing a gray divorce?

Perhaps, you consider yourself part of the trending crowd in Virginia. You’re someone who, although you have celebrated more than 50 birthdays, likes to keep up with the times, stay updated on advanced technology and try to live your best life because you and your friends like the idea that 50 is the new 25. There might be one trend, however, that you didn’t expect to participate in, and that is a gray divorce.

The overall divorce rate in the United States has been declining in recent years. In the age 50 and older demographic, however, it has more than doubled in the past 20 years. As you plan for your future and consider a best course of action for filing for divorce, you might be able to relate to several issues that other spouses your age say were causal factors in their decision to end their marriage after 20, 30 or more years.

Common issues of gray divorce

Your marriage and reasoning process for deciding to divorce is unique. No two relationships are exactly the same. However, the following list shows numerous issues that older couples often cite as primary factors in divorce, as well as complications that may arise during the process:

  • There may not have been a specific event or issue that prompted you to file for divorce. Maybe, like many other Virginia spouses age 50 and beyond, you simply felt like you and your partner have grown so far apart through the years that you really have nothing in common to sustain your relationship.
  • On the other hand, perhaps you can relate to spouses who were devastated to learn that their partners had committed infidelity. This is a common problem in baby boomer marriages.
  • Living longer is not always a good thing when it comes to marriage longevity. Your relationship may have succumbed to the many challenges that can arise when spouses grow old together but begin to have serious personality clashes as time goes on.
  • Are you more financially independent than you were when you first married? For women especially, it is more common today to not have to rely on a spouse as the sole breadwinner in a family.
  • You raised your kids and now you’re enjoying being a grandparent. Regarding gray divorce, many spouses say they overlooked a lot of relationship problems for the sake of their kids and then decided they did not want to remain in an unhappy relationship once the kids were grown and out on their own.

You may relate to issues on this list or none at all. The events that led to your decision to file for divorce are usually not as important as knowing where to seek support to help you cope and to obtain a fair settlement. Starting a new in life at age 50 or older can present many emotional and financial challenges. As you leave a marriage of 20, 30 or more years behind and adapt to a new lifestyle, it’s helpful to build a strong support network from the start.