Many Michigan spouses can relate to having experienced challenges in their marital relationships. Some have overcome some serious issues, such as extramarital affairs or substance abuse problems. Not every relationship can withstand such pressure, however. Even if a spouse decides to stay in a relationship for years — perhaps for the sake of keeping the family intact for children — at some point, he or she might decide to file for divorce, rather than remain in an unhappy marriage.
For people who are age 55 and older, the divorce rate has more than doubled in the past 20 years. If you’re in this age group and are considering filing for a divorce, the issues that have led to your decision might be similar to hundreds, if not thousands of other spouses who have also decided to move on in life without their partners.
Divorce is more culturally acceptable than it used to be
Surveys among older spouses who file for divorce after decades of marriage show that many of them may have wanted to end their relationships earlier in life but hesitated because of the stigma attached. Today, divorce is common, and people do not negatively look upon it as they once did, especially for women.
Women are more financially independent in the modern world
Long ago, most women stayed home full-time to raise their families while their husbands earned an income outside the home. Times have changed, and many women own their own businesses, work from home or are employed full-time outside the home, which gives them stronger ground to stand on financially, making them less afraid to go it alone without their spouse.
Life expectancy has increased
You might wonder what life expectancy has to do with the divorce rate among older couples. People often live well into their 80s or 90s nowadays, which means marital longevity has also increased. It’s not uncommon for older spouses to be married for six decades or more. Living with the same person for more than 50 years can place a great strain on a relationship, especially if the two people in question have never really gotten along that well.
Many people say they drifted apart from their spouse through the years, have different interests, and simply don’t feel the connection they used to feel and would rather move on in separate directions.
Is divorce among older spouses a complicated process?
After decades of marriage, spouses who file for divorce later in life often encounter issues that aren’t relevant to couples who are just starting out in life, such as wealth amassed from investments, retirement benefits, estate plan issues and more. It’s important to protect your interests, especially during property division proceedings. This is why many people seek legal support before heading to court for a divorce.