The word divorce can have negative connotations in American society. However, we still find ourselves faced with some of the highest rates of divorce in the industrialized world. The divorce rate remained steady over the past twenty years, with the exception of the baby-boomers (those over fifty years of age). Baby-boomers have been getting divorced at a much higher rate than in the past. Many social scientists and psychologists have been investigating this trend for a while now, and the results point to a potential increase in ‘over-50’ divorces in the coming years.
The problem, or cause, as many social scientists point out, stems from the improved quality of life and increased life span for people over the age of fifty. Whereas, most used to feel that fifty or sixty years of age were twilight years, people today feel as though fifty or sixty means another good twenty years of a healthy and active life. With that in mind, it is easy to see how some couples might decide that twenty or thirty years spent actively, and in good health, is too much time to waste in a bad relationship, or a relationship that has lost its meaning.
Are you over 50 and considering divorce? Here are a couple of things to keep in mind…
With people over fifty who become involved in divorce proceedings, the problems can be much more complex and far-reaching.
An often overlooked consequence of divorce for people of any age is the mental anguish, the stress, and the corresponding deterioration of physical health as well. Life changes that can impact the physical well-being of someone over the age of fifty need to be addressed as soon as possible. Many baby boomers faced with the prospect of divorce find themselves in an unusual position of trying to rediscover who they are. This can lead to a lot of personal conflicts, and observation by or visits to mental health professionals as well as family doctors is advised.
Also, the complexity of a divorce proceeding is much greater for those over the age of fifty because of the depth of financial intermingling.
Most who have been married for an extended period have difficulty dividing their assets. One reason is that divorces involving older individuals must divide and allocate a much deeper “well” of financial assets, such as a home that has a high percentage of equity. It is also possible for some baby-boomer divorces to involve retirement accounts, investment portfolios, and insurance policies. A lawyer is necessary in these situations due to the complexity of the cases, in general, especially so if a divorce case is less than amicable.
If you find yourself over the age of fifty, and you are either facing a divorce or contemplating a divorce, there’s no need to worry. You are not alone, in fact, you are part of a growing trend in America. The best thing to do is consult family and friends, then consult a lawyer to discuss the situation and potential options. Do not try to tackle such a monumental undertaking on your own. Use the resources around you and focus on your personal well-being.