Why are more people filing for divorce after retirement?

The gray divorce trend describes the growing rate of people over the age of 50 who are filing for divorce after decades of marriage.

A number of people believe that the longer a couple stays together, the less likely they are to file for divorce. A report released by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, however, showed that more people are getting divorced over the age of 50 than ever before. While only one in 10 people in this age group filed for divorce in 1990, more than one in four claimed to be divorced in 2011, as reported in the New York Times. This phenomenon is referred to as the gray divorce trend, and many people believe that the divorce rate in Georgia and across the country will keep growing as the baby boomer population continues to age.

Reasons for the increase in gray divorce

Whether both spouses retire from their careers at the same time, or one spouse retires while the other remains at work, retirement can cause tension in a marriage. In some cases, the spouse who must continue working may feel resentment toward the retired spouse, who now has free time to engage in hobbies. Couples that retire together may not know how to interact with one another for prolonged periods of time. It can be difficult to start a new routine once a couple is used to spending time apart while they are working.

Parents who build their lives around their children may have relationship issues once the children grow up and leave the home. The transition from having kids in the house to being alone can be difficult. Couples may decide that they no longer enjoy spending time with one another without having their children around.

Advances in medical technology has extended the life expectancy rate in the U.S. Rather than spend those later years in an unhappy marital relationship, some people may choose to separate. It isn't uncommon to see people in this age bracket meet a new spouse and get remarried.

Important considerations

According to Community Digital News, people who file for gray divorce may want to consider the following:

  • Separation of finances, such as retirement, investment plans, life insurance and stocks
  • Division of marital property, including vacation homes, businesses and valuable collections
  • Alimony payments
  • The effect on the family structure, children and grandchildren

Since every case is unique, there may be additional concerns depending on the special circumstances surrounding the divorce.

Get your questions answered

Whether you are going through your first divorce or you have been divorced before, many people find it crucial to speak with a family attorney who knows how to handle gray divorce cases. A lawyer who is familiar with Georgia laws may be able to answer your questions and walk you through the entire divorce process.