Older Americans are usually thought of as being more stable than younger ones. While this might be true in some cases, there are instances in which the changes that come with growing older become hard to handle. In some cases, they start to affect a marriage. Many things may lead to this, so being aware of them can be beneficial.

Some people assume that because these couples have been married for decades that they will continue to thrive as a couple. What they don’t see is that things like children moving out of the house, retirement and changes in interests might lead to their calling it quits. This has become so prevalent in people who are 50 years old and older that it has been dubbed gray divorce.

Life transitions aren’t always to blame

While it is easy to see how the life transitions of this age might contribute to divorce in older Americans, they aren’t the only reason. For some, the marriage has been rocky for a long time, but they remained married to provide a stable home for the kids. They tried to make the relationship work for that purpose. In this case, the children leaving the nest might appear to be the cause of the split. However, the underlying marital issues that have been pushed down are the root reason.

Gray divorce has its own challenges

It may seem like divorce at an older age won’t be as hard as one for a younger person, but this isn’t the case. Gray divorce can still have a negative impact on the children, even though they are adults now. There can be all around grief in this situation, so everyone involved should be prepared. Even if you think that you won’t be impacted because you want the marriage to end, you will likely find that you experience sadness and possibly anger. You might not believe that the marriage is really over and you might be upset that you spent so much time in the union.

Complexities of divorce at this age

One primary consideration for adults going through a gray divorce is how they are going to split up the property and debts. Retirement accounts, real estate and investments all have to be divided. Retirement accounts have the need for a qualified domestic relations order to make the division possible.

Take steps to protect yourself during the divorce. This includes ensuring that you have a settlement that is in your best interests.