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Naperville divorce lawyerThe Baby Boomer generation has never been one to follow tradition and maintain the status quo. In past generations, it was often said that the longer your marriage lasted, the less likely you were to get a divorce. Today, things are quite different. A large number of older couples are choosing to divorce later in life, and the divorce rate of those 50 and older has doubled over just the past two decades. For those 60 and older, the divorce rate has tripled. This trend makes sense, however. Many older couples today find themselves with grown children out of the house and realize they are no longer happy in their marriage. It is never too late to take a step towards happiness. Gray divorces, however, do have their unique challenges, and baby boomers themselves are not the only group impacted. The millennial children of the baby boomer generation, most of them now adults, are also impacted by their parents decision to divorce. Changing family dynamics can be difficult for everyone involved, including adult children.

All Grown Up

Adult children often struggle to cope with their parent’s separation, despite the assumption that adults should be able to easily handle the split as they are no longer children tied directly to their parent’s decisions. In reality, specialists say that millennials today are feeling the impact of the increasing gray divorce rate in a number of ways. Firstly, adult children of divorce often feel they have no one to talk to about their parents separation. “There is this message you are getting that you should be doing fine,” says one therapist and divorce specialist. “You are all grown up and this is your parent’s decision. Adult children of divorce feel they do not have anyone to talk to about it.”

Additionally, many adult children of divorce say they are burdened with hearing too much information about their parent’s unhappy marriage. While adult are certainly more easily able to cope with a major life change like a divorce, gray divorcees should avoid over-sharing with their children. Instead, older divorcees should seek other confidants to vent and process emotions with.

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DuPage County divorce attorneysAccording to a new study, the divorce rate in America is at a 40-year low. There is one exception, however. Couples reaching the age of retirement have a rate that is nearly double what it was just two decades ago. What is the reason for this trend, and what does it mean for the Baby Boomer generation?

Divorce Rates Compared – Older Americans versus Middle-Aged and Younger Americans

Back in 1980, divorce reached an all-time high of 23 divorces per 1,000 married women. Fast forward a little more than 30 years, where the rates have been on a slow but steady decline. In 2014, it was 17.6 per 1,000 women, and the 2015 rates were even lower – 16.9 per 1,000 women. That brings the overall divorce rate to a 40-year low. However, the rate of divorce has been on a sharp increase among older Americans – the Baby Boomers who grew up in a very different era.

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Naperville diovrce attorneyA recent survey asked divorcees over 50 years old two simple questions. What is the best aspect of being divorced over 50, and what is the worst aspect? Most respondents said the best aspect of their gray divorce was the freedom it provided them. On the other hand, a majority of responders said loneliness, or the fear of loneliness, was the biggest negative factor. Loneliness is a big factor in anyone’s decision to divorce. Most people do not plan on ending their marriage, but for those over 50, moving on post-divorce can be especially difficult. Based on the survey’s results, it is reasonable to assume that some older individuals are choosing to stay in unhappy marriages out of the fear of being lonely. This, however, is often a mistake. Instead, here are three steps to guide you through handling and eventually defeating loneliness as a gray divorcee.

Survive

No matter how old you are, or where you are in your life, you deserve happiness. Fear of being lonely is a legitimate concern, and frankly, most people are lonely after their divorce. Does this mean you should waste a decade or two of your life in an unhappy relationship? No. Instead, should you decide to divorce, plan ahead for the loneliness you will likely experience. Divorce has many challenges, including legal battles, handling financial issues, and dealing with any children involved. Consider loneliness just another one of those negatives. Planning for feeling alone can help soften the impact. In fact, you probably have already felt some form of loneliness or disconnect from your spouse, considering you are thinking of divorce. Tell yourself that you may even enjoy some solitude. Take that time to reflect back, and learn more about yourself. You will survive.

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