Spouses age 55 and older are the only age demographic in the U.S. that have seen an increase in their divorce rate in recent years. Known as grey divorce, divorce at an older age and after years of marriage can happen for many reasons:
- Spouses no longer have the children at home as a reason to stay together;
- Spending more time together after retirement may emphasize their differences;
- There is a sense of urgency to start over while still young enough to do so; and
- People and relationships change from when they first married.
Though friends and family often do not understand the reason for the divorce, the couple will know they are making the right decision. However, people dealing with the aftermath of their grey divorce still face feelings of doubt about their futures.
“Who Am I Now That I Am Divorced?”
A person’s role as a spouse and parent is often his or her most important identity. After a grey divorce, a person is often living alone without a significant other or children to care for. The situation could become an identity crisis if the person is also retired. Being single at an older age is an opportunity for someone to discover an identity that is separate from his or her relationship to others by:
- Focusing on hobbies or activities that he or she enjoys;
- Traveling to new places; or
- Becoming active with local clubs and groups.
“Is It Too Late to Find Love Again?”
The thought of spending the rest of their lives alone can be frightening to divorcees. Older divorcees may think they have a limited amount of time to find a new partner. A relationship started because someone is afraid to be alone is unlikely to last. There is no set age limit for falling in love. Divorcees should take their time in starting a new relationship to make sure they are emotionally ready for the experience. They may also need to change their expectations for what the relationship should be. Companionship and friendship may be more of a priority for older couples than the physical love they sought when they were younger.
Divorce for Seniors
Grey divorce cases can be more complicated than cases involving younger spouses because of the numerous marital assets that the spouses must divide, including retirement benefits. A Kane County divorce attorney at Van Larson Law, P.C., can guide you through all the financial decisions you must make as part of your divorce. To schedule a consultation, call 630-879-9090.