Nowadays, the divorce rate among the group aged 50 and older is growing more rapidly than any other age bracket. Couples who have been together for 25, 30, or more years are suddenly facing the prospect of life without their partner.
Are you facing a divorce after a long marriage? Whether the decision to divorce was mutual or initiated by your spouse, this will be a challenging time.
4 things everyone should anticipate when divorcing after a long marriage
Should you find yourself facing a divorce in your 50’s (also called a “gray divorce”) these are some of the things you should expect to experience:
- Emotional effects: Expect your emotions to be unpredictable and extreme. You may be angry, hurt, devastated, or relieved. You may sink into a depression or feel happy to finally be free. This is new territory. Don’t be afraid to seek guidance in navigating your emotions.
- Social effects: Battle lines will be drawn. Your family and friends will most likely rally around you, while your spouse’s family does the same for him/her. You’re not only losing a spouse but all of the people who come with him/her. That may take some getting used to on your part.
- Financial effects: This is where things get tricky. Having been married for a long time gives you certain privileges. Unless a prenup is in place stating otherwise, you may be entitled to a portion of your spouse’s pension, 401K, and savings. This is an area that is not at all cut and dry, so it’s important to educate yourself on your rights.
- Health effects: Divorce can take a toll on your health. Therefore, you must get enough sleep, eat right, exercise, talk to people who love and support you, and be kind to yourself.
Navigating the waters of a gray divorce can be difficult. Make sure you seek the proper guidance to help you through this tumultuous time.