While the national trend for divorce has declined, the incidence of older individuals getting divorced has increased. There are a number of reasons for this.
First, divorce does not have the same stigma that it did years ago. It is accepted by society, friends and family.
Next, life transitions are more evident as we get older. No longer busy with jobs and children, the empty nesters begin considering what they are going to do with the rest of their lives.
Life expectancies and health has increased. An individual who is 55 today can expect to live another 20 – 30 years. Often, the parties believe this is too much time to spend with someone you have grown apart from.
The up-side for many older people is that divorce gives them the freedom to explore new avenues and interests.
There are several downsides that should be considered as well. There may be loneliness in transitioning to a life without another individual at their side. There may be the loss of friends and social networks due to the split. Finances will be more difficult with 50% of the assets and 50% of the income. And finally, there may be a loss of caregivers when the senior faces health challenges.