Understanding and preparing for a midlife divorce

Understanding and preparing for a midlife divorce

In Ohio and across the nation, people of any age and marital duration might choose to get a divorce. Without understanding the statistics, people might be under the impression that shorter marriages and younger people are more prone to getting a divorce. Perceptions rarely match with reality and in recent years, there has been a spike in older couples who have been together for a long time choosing to end the marriage and move on. For people who are considering divorce, knowing common catalysts can be important when coming to a decision.

Researchers assess why long-term marriages might end in divorce

This phenomenon of older people divorcing (sometimes referred to as “gray” divorce) was assessed by researchers at Bowling Green University in Ohio. The number of people 50 and older who divorced doubled in the two decades from 1990 to 2010. In the following decade, the numbers were relatively static. In the study, the main reasons people got divorced included infidelity, financial concerns, lack of communication, empty nest syndrome and past issues causing problems.

If it happens, infidelity is a problem in most marriages. For older people, there can be a decision that they do not want to accept it any longer. Financial problems can also impact anyone no matter their age. Nearly two-thirds of people who were surveyed about stress said money was a major cause. If people have financial challenges, it could spiral out of control and doom the marriage.

As people age, they tend to fall into a routine and no longer communicate as effectively as they once did. This could be problematic. When the kids have left the home, a couple spending time together could reach a point where they realize they are unhappy and were staying in the marriage for the wrong reasons. Relationships and individuals have a history and if there was a painful past, it can be complicated to get beyond. Part of healing is starting anew and divorcing.

People of all ages should have professional guidance when considering divorce

No matter the age and circumstances of the participants, anyone who is dealing with the complicated process of divorce should make sure they are protected. While child custody could be less of a challenge with older people, property division could be the foundation for dispute with a family home, a business, automobiles, collectibles, sentimental items and more. Spousal support can also come up. For assistance from the start, having experienced advice may be a wise initial step.