As some Texas residents move beyond middle age, they might find themselves contemplating the end of their marriage. Gray divorce, as it is often called, is a phenomenon that has developed over the last 20 years, with divorce rates for people 50 and over continuing to rise even as the overall rate for divorce has remained steady or decreased.
Many factors lead to gray divorce
There are many reasons why older couples decide to end their marriage. Often, there were multiple issues plaguing the relationship for many years. Some of these factors include:
- Finding themselves as empty-nesters and having to face that the main thing keeping them together had been their children
- Realizing that they had grown so far apart as a couple that they no longer have anything in common
- Dealing with a spouse’s infidelity
- Escaping a spouse’s mental and physical abuse
- Getting to a point where a spouse’s mismanagement of finances was not something they could tolerate any longer
- Wanting a more fulfilling and happier life for the rest of their years
The changing world and gray divorce
The increase in gray divorce is also linked to the changes that society itself has experienced. As women joined the workforce and continued to grow professionally, they also became financially independent, which meant that there was no financial need to stay in an unhappy relationship. As well, as society’s focus on mental wellbeing and personal happiness increased, people in unhappy marriages realized that continuing in these types of relationships was not necessary.
Options for gray divorce
Couples that have been married for many years will often have accumulated more assets than shorter-term couples, including real estate, investments, savings accounts, jewelry and art, and retirement and pension plans. For these couples, the negotiations for the division of property can be complex. Some couples might end up seeking litigation. Other couples might prefer mediation to work together towards a more peaceful resolution of their divorce issues.
Preparing for a gray divorce can be complicated. Gathering a team of professionals to help through the process can help ease the weight of the divorce.