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Why are late-life divorces becoming more common?

With the divorce rate in the U.S. slowly continuing to climb, analysts are examining the situations that lead to divorce and the demographics of the couples that are divorcing. What has been discovered is that more people that have been in long-term marriages are divorcing. There are a variety of reasons that late-life divorces occur, including those listed below.

  • Couples grow apart. While it may seem easy to write a separation or divorce off as "we just grew apart," it is a legitimate reason that people divorce after 20 or more years together. It is a cliché, but it is a real situation that couples face.
  • Personal or medical crisis. Significant life events can cause people to reexamine their lives and determine if they are moving forward in the way that they want their lives to go. People often show their true colors in the face of adversity, and this can lead to a couple discovering just how different they may be. An illness, a death in the family, the loss of a job and revelations of infidelity are just some of the situations that can result in a divorce.
  • We live longer. Since the average lifespan has increased, people are spending more years together. 100 years ago, no one considered spending 50 years married to someone because it was just not feasible from a biological standpoint. But now, as older individuals and seniors are more active and empowered, they may decide that splitting can aid in their happiness and satisfaction with their lives.
  • Staying together for the kids. When a couple has children, the children typically become the focus of the relationships. Parents may realize that their marriage is faltering, but vow to hold it together for the benefit of their children. Once the children have grown, people start to refocus on themselves and their needs, sometimes resulting in divorce.

Considering Divorce After Being Married For Many Years?

If you have been married for 15, 20 or more years, and divorce is on your mind, it is best to talk with an experienced family law and divorce attorney before making any decisions. People who divorce later in life often have more to lose in a divorce; that is, a couple may have numerous retirement accounts, pensions, real estate interests and other assets at stake. These are issues that do not often affect people who are divorcing after only a few years. To ensure you are protected, or to even understand what your options are, a lawyer should be consulted.

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