Most people associate divorce with those who are young, newly married or on a second marriage or higher. While it is true that these demographics have high divorce rates, it is also true that the rates are increasing for those who are older.
The trend, called "gray divorce," has risen over the years for many reasons. You may be considering ending your long-term marriage but are not sure if it is the right thing to do. The following three reasons may help you decide if you should begin the divorce process.
1. Social disapproval is no longer an issue
You may have been contemplating divorce for decades but never went through with it because of societal expectations. If your marriage is not working out despite your best efforts, you no longer have a social obligation to stick it out, especially when there is domestic violence or infidelity. In fact, women are usually the ones to file for divorce in older couples, reports the New York Times.
2. Your children are adults
One of the benefits of gray divorce is that you do not have to deal with issues affecting minor children, such as custody, visitation and child support. This means one less source of conflict in your divorce proceedings. It also means you have fewer family responsibilities, allowing you to enter the workforce or increase your current hours to support yourself.
3. People expect an active and lengthy retirement
People expect to be happy and healthy at retirement. You do not have to live the rest of your life in an unhealthy relationship or suffer the health consequences of depression and stress. In addition, there can be a certain amount of financial security obtained after pursuing a career and decades of hard work, meaning it is possible for more women to maintain their style of living on only one income.
How to start a gray divorce
If you decide it is time to end your long-term marriage, speak to a family law attorney with experience in gray divorce. There will be many things to consider at this stage of life, such as retirement benefits and spousal support, that a Texas lawyer can address with you.