While the overall divorce rate has declined across the country, an increasing number of older Americans in Pennsylvania are deciding to end their marriages. The “grey divorce” phenomenon has grown over the past two decades for a number of reasons, particularly when couples who have been married for many years are considered. Of course, there was once a much higher social stigma around divorce, a stigma that has generally become less significant in most communities.
There are many reasons why people choose to divorce later in life, even after a long marriage. In some cases, people develop conflicts over financial management. Spouses may have different priorities when it comes to saving and spending, or one member of the couple may be truly irresponsible. In some cases, fights about finances emerge when one breadwinner controls financial decisions. In other cases, people are more likely to develop struggles over money when both are bringing in substantial incomes through high-powered careers.
Other issues can lead to grey divorce, including the simple fact of growing older. Without children in the home to maintain a family connection, many people feel disconnected later in life. In addition, with people living longer, healthier lives, they are unwilling to give up on a chance on a happier life in their later years. Still other people face serious conflicts, like those over infidelity or addiction, that can lead to divorce at any stage of life.
Of course, divorce later in life can come with unique financial concerns and circumstances related to division of retirement funds, investment accounts and other key assets. A family law attorney may advise people considering divorce about key legal matters like property division and spousal support.