Couples who have spent decades married might think that they are going to remain married until they pass away. While this is sometimes true, there is always the possibility that the spouses will drift apart and end up going through a divorce. This is a challenging situation that must be addressed promptly and carefully.
It surprises many people to think that those age 50 or older file for divorce. Later-in-life divorces been increasing to the point that they are known as "gray divorces." Here are some points to know about ending a marriage as an older person:
Drifting apart is possible
During the earlier days in their marriage, the couple might have spent their time focused on the children. This gave them a common factor that kept them together. When the children start to move out during adulthood, the parents might realize that they have little in common. They might start to notice that they aren't spending time together and that the romance just isn't there. In many cases, gray divorce may be a mutual decision made after carefully considering the options.
Family dynamics change
The changes in family dynamics can be difficult to handle. Even though your children are adults, they will still probably have very strong emotions about their parents divorcing. Likewise, spouses who agree to divorce and who may have even been the ones to ask for it can still find themselves going through a strong range of emotions.
You will need to focus on getting your new life together now. Your adult children must do what they have to do to work through matters themselves. For younger children, it's often helpful to come up with new traditions. Finding ways for parents to individually connect with the children can be rewarding.
One of the biggest changes that you might while going through a gray divorce may be financial. Even if you are living a comfortable life now, splitting up means dividing everything. Retirement accounts have to be divided, as do debts. You will have only a portion of the financial stability you are accustomed to while having to cover all the bills on your own.
As you move through the divorce process, make sure that you protect your own interests. This can help you have the best start possible as a single person after decades of marriage.