How to deal with a gray divorce

When the kids finally leave home and you quit work, it should be time to start enjoying your life more and spending quality time with your partner. However, for an increasing number of couples, the prospect of spending time with only each other for company is more than many can bear. In the United States, the rate of divorce for those aged over 50 has increased by 700 percent since 1960 and the same phenomenon is being repeated around the world.

In the United Kingdom, such divorces are so common that those involved are have their own nickname: silver separators. In Japan, the divorce rate for couples married for 30 years or more has increased by 400 percent in the past 20 years. There, the preferred term is retired husband syndrome. If you find yourself in this situation, your divorce may end up being a little more complicated than it would have been if you made the decision a few years earlier. Read on to learn more about how to deal with a divorce later in life.

The negatives

Although it will always be traumatic at some level, there are both positives and negatives to becoming single later in life, following a lengthy marriage. The chief negative aspect of a gray divorce is the pain of the split which occurs regardless of whether you were the instigator or whether or not you agree with the decision. You may also experience intense feelings of loneliness and worry that you may be alone for the rest of your life.

One of the most difficult aspects of a gray divorce is the way your friends might react. If you have made friends with other couples and the relationships have been in existence for many years, your friends will inevitably feel upset for you both but may feel they have to choose to maintain a friendship between one or other of your, rather than keeping in contact with both. This is especially a problem when one partner is seen as being “at fault” within the relationship, having caused the split but having an affair, for example.

Regardless of the reasons behind the split, is hugely important to seek out the services of a good attorney with experience of gray divorce, such as Pintar Albiston in Las Vegas, as there are particular issues that need to be addressed in such cases.

The positives

The positives include meeting and connecting with someone new who may be a far better match for where you currently are in your life. One reasons many couples who marry early end up splitting is because they drift apart. The interests they shared in their early twenties no longer define them and they may have taken very different career paths that mean that, twenty years later, they have little in common apart from their children.

Although all successful relationships involve an element of compromise, you may no longer have to compromise quite as much as you once did as you can find someone who shares far more of your interests.

If you have been defining yourself as one half of a couple for an extended period of time, then having the chance to start over can allow you to get back to the person you used to be or the person you always wanted to be. Even the most supportive marriage will have some limitations and being on your own may provide the perfect opportunity to pursue a new path in life that ultimately leads to greater fulfilment.

You suddenly have the freedom to do whatever you want with your life with no one able to object. You will also be in complete control of your finances and able to make decisions without worrying about what your partner might say.

Financial planning

One benefit of being a little older at the time of your divorce is that there is more chance you have had the benefit of a little financial planning during the earlier stages in your life. Ideally, this will have factored in some contingency plans so that you are not left high and dry. Seek out professional financial advice as soon as you can. Prior to retirement, the usual advice is to re-position portfolios in order to reduce the level of risk and prepare for life on a pension, but getting divorced later in life means you may need to carry out this re-positioning much earlier than expected in order to deal with the financial complications that go hand in hand with separation.

Alternative strategies

The sudden changes to day to day routine that the combination of empty nest syndrome and retirement bring can be very difficult to deal with. This is especially the case if one partner left work before the other and is used to having the run of the home or total control over their daily schedule, until the other partner begins to spend all day at home as well and know their plans out of kilter.

Health problems are another issue. While one partner may be ready to go out and explore the world, the other may be suffering from ailments that make this impossible, preferring to sit back and take it easy instead.

By far the easiest solution is not to divorce at all. There are a number of strategies, such as trying to improve the level of communication between you and your partner, learning not to take one another for granted and maintaining a high level of health and fitness, all of which can help a couple to rediscover their happiness.

For some couples, the secret is for one or both to return to work, usually on a part time basis. The problem with both partners being at home all day is that conversation can be strained as all events that have occurred have been witness by both. By one partner going out to work, they can mix with other people, having their own mini-adventures and return to share their news at the end of the day.

Thanks to Carol Trehearn

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