Later-in-life divorce is more common than ever and no longer causes raised eyebrows.
However, those who divorce after the age of 50 face unique challenges as well as unanticipated rewards.
Baby Boomers and divorce
Baby Boomers began turning 50 years of age in 1996. Their parents, if unhappily married, soldiered on so as to avoid the stigma that was then attached to divorce. However, Baby Boomers take a different view. By 2010, 10 out of 1,000 couples over the age of 50 divorced and the number continues to rise.
Reasons for divorce after 50
Feelings of discontent may go on quietly for years in long marriages. People often wait until the children are grown and gone to consider divorce seriously. Couples also grow apart having lost the ability to connect intellectually or emotionally. Also, since people are living longer these days, more mature people facing divorce find that they have the time to consider what they want out of life and the courage to act on it.
Money is the main concern facing those who are ending a long marriage. To begin with, divorce will cut a swath through their retirement nest egg. However, many mature people considering divorce have already worked out a financial plan. It may include downsizing and learning to make do with less. It may involve returning to the workforce in some capacity. However, having to make a financial adjustment is part of the positive outcome that a newly single person welcomes. Improved health, reduced stress and the peace that comes with ending a marriage that stopped working are only a few of the rewards that can come with a later-in-life divorce.