Although the divorce rate overall in the United States has declined in recent decades, the divorce rate for couples 50 and older continues to rise.
To begin with, people are living longer and those who opt for later-in-life divorce are ready to start a new chapter in their lives.
Why grey divorce occurs
Older couples may divorce after their children are grown and leave home. Having devoted most of their marriage to raising the kids, some empty nesters find it difficult to deal with the new gap in their lives. Along the same lines, some couples simply grow apart over time. Their marriage becomes stagnant and in their later years, they want different things out of life.
Property Division Issues
Many couples dread the property division phase of the divorce proceedings. Among the assets they accumulate over the course of the marriage and that must be divided are investments, retirement benefits and Social Security benefits, in addition to the marital home. A good deal of emotion attaches to the assets and what each partner feels is necessary to have going forward.
Financial matters are among the primary issues that lead to grey divorce. Either one spouse mismanaged the marital finances or there was a continual struggle about debt. The divorce essentially splits everything in half, which disrupts retirement plans. Women, especially, who divorce later in life wonder if they will have enough money to live on. Many must downsize their lifestyle and learn to live on a tighter budget. While life in a post-divorce world can be an exciting time, they worry about financial security. After all, people are living longer these days.