The Rising Trend of Gray Divorce

Sharon and Ozzy, Kris and Bruce, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman. Older Hollywood staples are proving that divorce does not discriminate and that it does touch even couples who have been together for 20 or more years. The “gray divorce,” or “silver divorce,” is a relatively new concept, and is on the rise as more individuals agree that divorce is not really so taboo after all.

A study done by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio reveals that one in four divorces today occur amongst couples who are older than 50. But why? Why spend more than half your life – and the hard half, at that – with someone, just to part ways when the supposed golden years arrive? Our Dallas divorce lawyers at the Clark Law Group
cite popular reasons for gray divorce, and provide tips on how to prevent it.

Top Three Reasons for Gray Divorce

No two couples cite the same exact reasons for getting a divorce, but as experienced divorce attorneys, we notice themes. In younger couples, the reasons tend to revolve around the fact that they jumped into marriage too soon. In middle-aged couples, the reasons center around money and children and the difficulties of family life. In older couples, the reasons tend to center around the following:

Unresolved Issues

Normal wear and tear is the most cited reason for divorcing in one’s golden years. Every couple has its own issues, but some are better at resolving them than others, and some couples’ issues are simply larger than others. When issues remain unresolved between two people for 10, 20, or even 30 years, they eventually manifest into irreconcilable differences. Sometimes, it is not so much that the issues are unresolvable, but more that one or both parties do not want to change. When individuals reach older age, they are more set in their ways and less likely to see a reason to change them. With that in mind, couples who work out their issues as they arise or come to a mutual understanding early on in their marriage are less likely to suffer from insurmountable marital issues.

The “Midlife Crisis”

According to The Atlantic, there is scientific reason behind the midlife crisis. People in their middle ages tend to suffer from more stressors on a prolonged basis than those in their 20s and 30s. Constant pressure from jobs and family can make a person feel trapped and dissatisfied with life as a whole. Additionally, many people tend to pick a career in their 20s and then stay there. These individuals are often the ones that get married and have kids young, as well. This lack of change can result in extreme boredom and the desire to get out and experience something new.

While certain individuals are more prone to a midlife crisis than others, there are steps that you can take to avoid a midlife meltdown. For starters, do not be so hasty in choosing a career and settling down in it. Be open to new opportunities, continued education, and trying new things. Another thing you can work on, if you are already set in your career and with a family, is to achieve a better work-life balance so that you never feel overwhelmed by any one factor.

Boredom

Many older couples are not afraid to admit that they simply grow bored with one another. Once you spend 20 to 40 years with someone, you pretty much know all that there is to know, and have undoubtedly established a marital routine. Not only do many couples do the same things day in and day out, but they also take the same vacations each year, eat at the same restaurants on Friday nights, and play cards with the same people once a month. For some people, routine is nice, but for many others, they want to experience something new and exciting every once in a while. To avoid becoming bored with your spouse, take up a new hobby of your own and ask him or her to do the same. This will give you guys something new to talk about. Take up new hobbies together, as well, and visit someplace new at least once a year—even if it is just a museum you have never been to or an expensive restaurant you have always wanted to try.

Contact a Dallas Divorce Lawyer

While we are rooting for you and your spouse to make it through your golden years together, we understand that sometimes, relationships just do not work out. That is what we are here for. Divorce after decades of marriage is much more complicated than the dissolution of a five or even 10 year marriage. Older couples tend to have more and larger assets together, and to share everything from their bank accounts to their retirement funds. At the, we will guide you through every aspect of your gray divorce to ensure that it is not any more difficult than it has to be. For compassionate and sound legal advice at this difficult juncture in your life, call the Clark Law Group at (469) 906-2266, or contact our firm online today.

(image courtesy of Lotte Meijer)

Categories: