If you’re part of the baby boomer generation or older, you may recall a time in Arizona, and throughout the United States, when there was a stigma attached to divorce. Nowadays, more and more people in your age group are deciding they’d rather move on in life without their spouses. There are many reasons for the rising trend, which analysts have termed “gray divorce.”
Perhaps, you and your spouse have encountered numerous challenges in your relationship through the years, but you tended to overlook them while you were raising your family. Now that you’re older, you have more time to yourself to think about what’s best for you as an individual. If this sounds familiar, you’re definitely not the only one to be preparing for major life changes after age 50.
Gray divorce percentage has more than doubled
Several decades ago, societal norms included a set description of spousal roles in marriage. A man went to work outside the home to provide for his family, and a woman stayed home to raise their children. Times have changed, and one of those changes is that the gray divorce rate has more than doubled in the past 20 years.
Expectations have changed
Perhaps, you can relate to many other spouses who are tired of putting their own needs, dreams, and goals in life on the back burner or have felt isolated and lonely for years due to lack of companionship in marriage. Maybe you’re more financially independent today than you were 20 or 30 years ago; so, being on your own is not as frightening a prospect as it once may have seemed.
Many baby boomers say that, once their kids grew up and were on their own, they started thinking more about their own lives and decided they’d rather be single again, rather than stay in an unhappy marriage. Once the children were no longer the focus of their relationships, they determined that they had drifted so far apart from their spouses that their relationships were no longer sustainable.
Other pertinent issues of gray divorce
Maybe your marital problems stem from a crisis event such as infidelity. This is another common reason people age 50 and beyond cite as a causal factor in divorce. Whether your decision to end your marriage comes after years of slowly drifting apart from your spouse or in the aftermath of a single incident, the fact that you are filing a petition later in life may make your case more complex.
Marriage longevity can have a significant impact on a settlement. Having retirement benefits, 401k plans, stocks, and bonds, or military benefits — if you or your spouse is, or has been, a service member — can make settlement negotiations a bit more complicated than they would be for a young couple married 10 years or less. It’s a good idea to research Arizona divorce laws and to seek support from someone well-versed in such issues to help you achieve a fair settlement.