Being with someone for decades or a long period of time does not guarantee that things will end happily ever after. Divorcing after 60 has a name for it. It is known as the silver divorce, gray divorce, or known as late-life divorce. Sadly, divorce rates have gone up for couples over the age of 60 and are becoming more common. Why would you want to call it quits after so many years and the process to come? Breaking up at any point in your life is difficult, especially a divorce, but it could be even more challenging the older you get.
According to the US Census Bureau, the divorce rate in the United States has been in a steady decline across the board beside one age group. The age above 55 may be at the highest rate it has ever been and is becoming much more common. A gray divorce has become a common name for older people going through a divorce implying they would have gray hair. Going through this can be stressful and there is a lot to know about going through a divorce over the age of 60. Below will cover all you need to know.
Is 60 Too Old To Get A Divorce?
This is definitely a common question that people get asked when going through a divorce this late in life or hearing about a friend or family going through one. In fact, age is just a number. A lot of people realize what they want in their life, or instead what they do not want anymore. It is not that uncommon to happen or know someone to whom it has happened. Perhaps they want to start over after 60 and go after the life they wish to have.
As an older couple, it is important to still consider all aspects of filing for a divorce as there are a lot. Things such as the stress it could cause, how it will affect your adult children if you have any, being financially independent, even retirement, and maybe your social life. It is not too late to live the life you want, but you must be sure about the whole process of a divorce.
5 Reasons for Divorce After 60
Divorce after 60 sounds like it is really late to realize you were not working out as a couple. This is actually very common as there are other factors that play into the timing of it. There could actually be many reasons to decide you want a divorce. In every relationship, it is different. Obviously, no one would have been able to predict that after so many years a couple would decide to call it quits. Here are a few of the most common reasons for getting a divorce after 60:
During the time you guys are both working and busy with many other things, you have to be financially wise. Once you are both retired, spending habits may begin to show. You have to still be wise with your money as you both may not be working anymore. In some cases, your spouse’s spending habits may not be smart and they are not willing to compromise. Financial situations could become a prominent issue causing your marriage to fail. No one wishes to be broke after retirement.
2. Fell Out of Love or Grew Apart
Often times one of the spouses may have realized they are no longer compatible with the other. It may not be because they have fallen in love with another person, but have just fallen out of love. It is possible that after so many years together and raising a family, you realize you and your spouse have nothing in common. Growing apart is one of the most common reasons for divorce and if you do not work on finding balance in hobbies you both enjoy, this could very likely happen.
3. Want to Improve Themselves
Having the same goals or passions as your partner makes things easy. If you and your spouse have different long-term goals or things you desire to achieve, you may not be cohesive anymore. Some would rather be alone going after what they want as opposed to staying with someone who aspires to different things than them. People have goals to fulfill and unfortunately, if your spouses are not the same it may cause the marriage to terminate.
4. Intimacy and Sex
In a relationship, there are many benefits to being intimate with your partner and having sex. According to Very Well Mind, higher rates of sexual activity can be linked to a lower divorce rate. Being intimate together can lead to feeling closer to your partner, relieving stress, greater rates of happiness, better quality sleep, and more. People can have different sex drives, and if one partner in the relationship is not into it anymore, the other may have a difficult time. Some would rather leave the relationship than commit infidelity.
5. Waited to Get a Divorce
In many cases, couples know they want a divorce years before, but choose to wait for the sake of their family. A lot of times they have just been waiting it out until the kids are older and out of the house hoping it will not affect them as strongly. Once their kids are all grown up and they have gone through or are close to retirement, couples may see this as the perfect time to get the divorce process started.
Finances and Your Home
Divorcing after 60 means a big change in your finances and your living situation. A smart first step would be to meet with a lawyer or your tax person to find out exactly where you stand in terms of what will be changing with your finances. You may have fewer expenses in some areas of payments and possibly more expenses in other areas. Lots of things will change in terms of your finances after a divorce. No matter how much money or how little you have, knowing where you stand is a good place to begin. It is a wise decision to understand and be aware of the expenses that will be coming your way going through a divorce later in life.
After living in your home for such a long time, facing divorce could be tough. It often means there will be a change in your living arrangements. You will likely have to downsize as it will likely only be you living in the house. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe you and your spouse had different tastes and styles. Now that you have your own place, you can truly make it your own. Potentially thrifting items to fill your home could be more affordable to fill the space. You will also likely be splitting stuff from your current home with your spouse. Wherever you end up living, you can make it great!
How to Handle A Divorce After the Age of 60
Regardless of how or why your divorce happened, it is going to be a huge adjustment. The truth of the matter is, you decide how amazing or miserable you are going to choose to make life after so many years of marriage. There are some things you can do to help yourself:
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
Often times people are afraid to ask for help when going through a difficult time. If you can not go to your friends or family, consider seeking out a therapist to go to if you feel you need it. Feelings of depression can be totally normal after going through such a thing. Talking to someone may help the divorce process go smoother.
2. Find A New Hobby
If you can’t ask your friends or family for help, find something new that you enjoy spending your time with. This could be some form of exercise, painting, hiking, or so on. Finding something new that you like doing can help boost your confidence. Who knows, you may meet someone new during your new hobby.
3. Go Out and Be Social
While this may sound easier said than done, getting out of the house and being social is a great way to cope with the divorce. Whether that be spending quality time with your friends and family, or going out to eat at your favorite restaurant, getting out of the house is important for your mental health. You and your spouse may have had the majority of similar friends as you had been together so long, but that does not mean they can not remain your friend or that you can not go out and meet new friends. Being divorced after 60 should not stop you from going out, living your life, and potentially meeting new people.
Going through a divorce after the age of 60 can be a challenging time, but it may be for the better for the two of you. Get into contact with a lawyer that is on the side of your best interest. Contact Samuel Tipton Law today to learn more about getting you through a grey divorce.