In the traditional sense of marriage, most of us would assume that the longer a marriage lasts, the more likely it would be to succeed. However, research from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research from Bowling Green University has evidence to suggest otherwise.
What’s becoming known as “gray divorce”, which is divorce in couples over 50, has doubled over the past two decades. For couples over 60, the divorce rate has nearly tripled. The “Baby-Boomer” generation seems to consider divorce as something that is never too late to do.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there has been a sharp decline in divorce in couples under the age of 35. Whether that is a result of certain moral standards or the fact that adults in the current generation are less likely to get married in the first place is yet to be determined.
One unique aspect that gray divorce brings is that their children are adults. As adults, they are usually exposed to more information about why the divorce is happening. They confide in others more and tell conflicting stories at times. With all the extra information, they usually feel as though they have more to shoulder afterwards. Parents, once thought of as secure in their future, now have chosen a different path that can bring more emotional and financial stress.
The effects might not occur all at once, but they tend to crop up at one point or another. For example, a formerly pleasant family gathering during the holidays won’t bring the same feelings family members are used to, especially if the divorcing parties aren’t amicable. This could also result in people choosing sides as there could be two homes the children feel responsible to attend.
The financial aspect may come into play when all of a sudden one of the divorcing parties has to re-enter the workforce, or rely more on their children for support. Research has found gray divorce occurs more often with couples in which the men are working full time and women are usually working part-time, or not at all.
All of this goes along with the usual stressors of a divorce, such as the division of assets, trusts, home ownership, etc. It’s always better to consult with an attorney when considering this type of event, as they will be able to help clear up questions and ease the process. The only thing that’s certain about divorce is that life is sure to be different afterwards.
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Partner at John F. Schutz, P.L.
Representing clients exclusively in family law cases for the past 24 years, Mr. Schutz is widely regarded as a marital and family law expert. He is Board Certified in marital and family law by The Florida Bar. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Mr. Schutz is committed to elevating the standards and improving the practice of family law.
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