For decades, the dominant belief about divorce was that it largely occurred in short-term marriages, often involving young people. The belief was that those with minimal life experience might rush into a relationship or might act so inappropriately after getting married that divorce becomes inevitable.
However, perhaps in part because of the prevalence of divorce, young adults are now less likely to marry while young and also have a dropping divorce rate. However, older adults are now the demographic with the highest divorce rate in the United States.
Gray divorces have become incredibly common
When people talk about gray divorces or silver splitters, what they mean is a marriage that has lasted for multiple decades and culminated in a divorce when people are very close to or perhaps past the age of retirement. Such divorces are often very complicated.
While the couple may no longer have children living at home with them, lifetime of resources to divide and may have very fearful reactions to the thought of dividing their home equity or their retirement savings. Despite the risks inherent in a divorce later in life, many people preparing for their golden years still decided it is worth whatever it costs.
Experts note that the rate of older adults divorcing has approximately doubled since the 1990s, and there is no immediate sign of this trend reversing. Longer life expectancy, less social stigma and a desire for a better life can all contribute to people deciding to end long-term marriages.
Whether someone has suffered through years of misconduct and dreads the idea of being alone in the home with someone that mistreats them during retirement or simply realizes they have grown apart from their spouse, a gray divorce can be the right solution.
For those who have suffered in unhappy marriages for years, filing for divorce is worth the stress and disruption it causes because it allows for a happier and more fulfilling retirement. If you plan carefully and understand what occurs in a divorce, such as how the courts and divide your property, it will be easier to make informed and positive decisions about your struggling marriage.