Gray divorce is being seen with greater frequency in California. Researchers believe that the number of gray divorces will grow threefold by 2030. Several factors can lead to a gray divorce, including empty nest syndrome, changes in finances and older individuals accepting the social change regarding how divorce is viewed.
Feelings of shame and judgment
Many older individuals feel anxiety and shame around divorce. They grew up during a time when there was extreme social pressure against divorce, and even though society around them has changed, they may have internalized some of those feelings, making it difficult for them to get a divorce. What can be beneficial for these individuals is to realize that other people are going through similar experiences and that there is help available if they want it.
Unexpected financial and social challenges
The longer a person is married, the more intertwined their financial arrangements are with their partner. They may own assets, businesses and property together. Retirement savings and Social Security will need to be considered during a divorce. From a social standpoint, long-standing relationships and friendships could be affected by the decision to divorce.
An easier process for some
For some people, a gray divorce is easier. Their children are out of the home. They are in a better financial position, and life experiences have made them resilient, so they can better deal with the challenges associated with divorce. Some face less judgment if they get divorced later in life because those around them accept that they have enough life experience to make a decision of this type on their own.
For most people, divorce is not an easy process. Older individuals may face unique challenges, but there are also some benefits that gray divorce offers them. People need to make decisions that are best for their lives.