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Your nest is empty: Will gray divorce come next?

Posted on in Divorce

You may have heard that there's been a tremendous increase in divorce for people in Texas and throughout the nation who are age 50 and beyond. In fact, you may have done some research on the topic because you're considering filing for gray divorce yourself, which is the colloquial term that applies to the topic.

Some wonder why anyone who has already been in a marriage to the same person for 15, 20 or more years would choose to divorce. Others, especially those who have "been there, done that," not only understand why but have shared common experiences with many others who divorced late in life. Even if your situation relates to a friend or relative who has filed for gray divorce in the past, every situation is unique in some aspect, so you'll want to secure support to address the issues you consider most important.

One or more of these issues may sound familiar

Whether you stayed home full time to raise your family or have been a co-breadwinner outside the home and alongside your spouse for years, as you get older, things change. This is especially true nowadays because people tend to live longer, which, for married couples, means they must spend more years together than spouses of long ago. The following issues sometimes cause major problems:

  • The longer you stay together, the farther apart you may drift from your spouse. As people change with age, spouses sometimes find they no longer have anything in common.
  • Perhaps you're one of many who simply decided it's no longer worth it to overlook problem issues that you have never resolved in your marriage. While your kids were growing up, you might have stuck it out for their sake; however, now that they're on their own, you may make a different decision.
  • Infidelity is a big problem in many long-term marriages. It often is the main factor in gray divorce.
  • Women tend to be much more financially independent in 2018 than the average woman was 30 or 40 years ago. Many women simply decide they no longer need to share a financial burden with a spouse.
  • Some situations involve spouses who have suffered serious communication breakdowns. Perhaps one often criticizes the other or someone feels unappreciated. Many marriages are unable to recover from repeated hurt feelings.

You might read this list and feel as though you've written it yourself. Then again, your reasons for filing for divorce may be entirely different. Gray divorce often presents many challenges because spouses have been together so long that they have amassed many assets, perhaps own a business or have stocks, bonds or other investments. To avoid major complications, it's a good idea to list one's goals and enlist the support of someone who knows the ins and outs of the family law system.

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