Understanding the spike in silver divorces

When they reach a certain age, many people begin to feel comfortable where they are even if their lives did not take the direction they expected. A couple past the age of 50 may assume they have a certain stability together that will carry them through the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

You may be among those spouses who are facing an event you never imagined at your age: divorce. Nevertheless, the rate of couples divorcing after the age of 50 is trending upward. While researchers and analysts have some speculation about why this is happening, you may have your personal opinions and concerns for your future.

Why now?

A silver divorce, or grey divorce, occurs when spouses are over 50. When you expected to be looking forward to a comfortable retirement with your spouse, you are now facing the prospect of starting a new life on your own. You may find the reason for the end of your marriage among this list of common causes for silver divorce:

  • One of you suffers from an addiction to alcohol, drugs, pornography, gambling, over-spending or something else that has made the marriage difficult.
  • You and your spouse have never achieved financial security, or you are experiencing new money troubles because of financial mismanagement.
  • One of you earns significantly more than the other or was the single breadwinner throughout most of the marriage.
  • Your spouse has been unfaithful or is looking for romance with someone younger.
  • You and your spouse have drifted apart or want to seek new interests.

If you are in good health, it is possible that either you or your spouse realize that you likely have years ahead that you do not want to spend together. It is common in silver divorces for one spouse to not want to live his or her golden years tied down, especially if the other spouse has more health issues.

Dealing with the breakup

No matter the reason why you and your spouse are breaking up, you have many factors to consider if you want to avoid a future of struggle. After decades of marriage, your assets and finances are likely solidly intertwined, and you want to be certain you obtain a fair share of marital property according to Arizona law.

Taking into consideration any retirement accounts, Social Security benefits, investments and other assets can add complications to your divorce. In addition to seeking professional help for the emotions you may be feeling, you would be wise to have a legal advocate protect your rights through the divorce process.

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