Divorce can happen at any age in California. People whose lives have changed since they got married, have evolved, are not feeling the same as they once did, or simply want something different might move forward with a divorce. For some demographics, this is becoming more common than others. That is the case with people 50 and older.
These divorces are commonly referred to as a ‘gray divorce.” According to therapists and other experts in the field, there are two time-frames for which divorce is most frequent: People who are in a relatively new marriage with it ending in divorce within seven years and people who have been married for 20 years or more. Many people involved in a gray divorce reference a disconnect with their partner. They feel they have a limited amount of time left and want to live in a way that makes them happier. Part of that might mean getting a divorce.
Social stigmas are less of a factor in people getting a divorce than they once were. Experts say divorce can come about for ‘soft” and ‘hard” reasons. Soft reasons include a lack of communication and loss of interest. Hard reasons could be an abusive situation or affairs. Statistically, the divorce rate for those over 50 doubled between 1990 and 2010.
Any divorce can be complicated with personal and financial considerations. Property division, spousal support and more can arise regardless of the age of the parties. For people who are getting a gray divorce, retirement accounts, Social Security and other age-related issues can be subject to dispute. Consulting an attorney may be useful in fairly resolving divorce-related issues, such as property division and spousal support.