Investigating gray divorce in Massachusetts

Many married Americans have found that the term, 'till death do us part,' is not an absolute. While some matches are destined to be together forever, others go through dramatic life-changes that may lead them to separate. A growing trend known as 'gray divorce' describes the increased number of people over the age of 50 who are filing for divorce. A study performed by Bowling Green State University showed that gray divorces have more than doubled over the past 20 years. While some researchers point to change-of-life events as a reason for this increase, others say that financially independent women and social media may be to blame. Gray divorce affects many Massachusetts residents, as well as couples across the country.

Reasons for the gray divorce phenomenon

The reasons for seeking a divorce are unique to each situation. Yet there are certain similarities that link some of these divorces together. One common reason why people decide to separate later in life is often referred to as the 'empty nest' syndrome. Couples who base their relationship around raising their children may find a lack of common interests once their children move out of the home. These couples often separate in an attempt to find another person who shares their same passion for life.

Retirement is another common cause of gray divorce. Some people are able to retire at a younger age, leaving 20 to 30 years of work-free life ahead. Spending a substantial amount of time with one another after years of being busy at work may come as a shock to some couples. People may decide that they are no longer happy with each other and look toward separation as a way out.

Stay-at-home moms who were responsible for raising the children may be financially dependent on their husbands. Many women have successful careers and can support themselves if they should choose to leave a relationship.

Implications of gray divorce

Not only does getting a divorce later in life affect the couple involved, but it also affects children and grandchildren as well. People going through a gray divorce may want to consider the following:

  • Financial issues, such as alimony, retirement and 401K plans.
  • Division of property and assets.
  • Health care coverage and insurance issues.
  • Talking to children about the divorce and keeping an open line of communication.
  • Letting grandchildren know that both grandparents are still involved in their lives.

Contacting an attorney

Discussing matters of divorce can be extremely difficult at any age. It is important to contact a professional attorney who has extensive knowledge of the divorce laws in Massachusetts.