The Rise of the Gray Divorce
Sharon and Ozzy, Kris and Bruce, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman. These celebrities spent a majority of their lives together, but then split when people thought that they had truly made it. Whereas divorce has become increasingly common in the past decade, it was not until very recently that divorce amongst older couples – known as a “gray” or “silver” divorce – started to rise. According to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, one in four divorces occur amongst couples who are older than 50. But why, after 20 plus years of marriage, do couples suddenly decide to part ways? Our lawyers at the Law Offices of Schwartz | White cite popular reasons for the gray divorce, and give tips on how to prevent it.
Top Three Reasons for the Gray Divorce
As with all divorces, every couple has its own unique reasons for getting a divorce. However, there are common themes amongst certain age groups; the 50-60 age group is not different. Below are the top three reasons couples cite for divorcing after spending a majority of their lifetime together:
- Normal Wear and Tear.
The number one most commonly cited reason for divorce in older age is simply that the couple grew apart. Every couple has their issues, and over time, tiny problems can become bigger and manifest into huge, irreconcilable differences. The best way to avoid having your problems implode is to discuss your issues as they arise. This gives each of you a chance to express your feelings before they become too raw, and fix your issues when they are still small and fixable.
According to research, the midlife crisis is a real, scientific phenomenon. From lack of career change to stressors particular to midlife, such as a family to care for a career to maintain, individuals in the middle of their life tend to experience a stressor “overload,” which contributes to a feeling of being “trapped” and a dissatisfaction with their life as a whole. This dissatisfaction leads to the infamous “midlife crisis,” which almost always ends in divorce.
While some people are more prone to a midlife crisis than others, there are steps you can take to avoid a midlife crisis from affecting you. For one, do not be too hasty to settle into a job when you are young. Allow yourself to explore a bit and try out new positions with new companies before settling down. Another thing you can do is work on achieving a good work-life balance, so that you do not ever become overwhelmed by one or the other.
Simply put, people become bored with each other as they grow older. They already know all there is to know about the other person, and probably have an established routine that does not allow any room for excitement. If you and your spouse sense that your relationship lacks that particular excitement it was full of in your earlier years, change things up a bit. Go out and get a new hobby that you can talk about with your spouse. Do more activities together that you would not have otherwise considered, such as hiking or dancing. And, if possible, take a vacation to somewhere new and foreign to you both.
Consult a Boca Raton Family Lawyer
While we hope that you and your spouse can work out your differences, if you simply cannot and want to get a gray divorce, our Boca Raton divorce attorneys possess the skill, knowledge, and compassion necessary to guide you through the process with as little conflict as possible. As an older couple, you and your spouse are going to have a lot more assets together, and will need to consider things that younger divorcing couples do not have to think about, such as what to do with your retirement assets. For sound legal advice throughout this tough time in your life, call the Law Offices of Schwartz | White at 561.391.9943, or contact us online.