The divorce rate has declined recently thanks to the millennial generation as they are less likely to rush to alter as the former generations have. This is great news for those who are married or plan to and it provides greater hope for lasting and happy nuptials. However, let’s discuss another generation—the baby boomers. How do the baby boomers affect today’s divorce rate?
Baby boomers are individuals born after World War II when there was an upswing of better days and more specifically born between the years of 1943 to 1960. While millennials, who are taking their time before saying, “I do”, the baby boomers are responsible for an increase in divorce rate for those 50 years. After much time together, we question the cause for divorce in what we like to call “Silver Splitters” or also known as “Grey Divorce”.
We will first go over the reasons that often lead to divorce after decades together and for those in their final act of life and then we will offer advice to consider before going down the path of divorce. If you or a loved one is considering “Grey Divorce”, we are here to help as experienced family law attorneys. Do not hesitate to reach out.
Reasons for Grey Divorce/Silver Splitters
Health and Life Expectancy
Life expectancy is on the rise and is currently listed at 79.8 years in the United States. In 1943 when the baby boomer generation first began, their parent’s life expectancy was in the mid-sixties and in 1960 at the final year of the generation the expectancy increased to roughly 70 years old.
We now have access to better healthcare and our society is more into the idea of preventative health. With the increase in life expectancy, older married couples believe they have more years ahead of them to find the happiness they desire for the remainder of their days. The idea of divorce later in life is also due to health circumstances between the couple. For example, if one spouse has dedicated their life to health and endurance and the other has remained more sedentary, this can become an issue. The way they would like to spend the rest of their time left is on different sides of the spectrum.
We absolutely love that our expectancy for life is increasing and we live in a place where we have healthcare and can be conscience of preventative behaviors. We advise that you take care of yourself and see a doctor regularly. Look at your diet and find ways to make healthier choices. Cherish what your body can do and exercise. Even if you are someone who despises cardio, go for a walk and ask your spouse to join you. Check in with your spouse if there is anything you can be doing to strengthen your physical relationship and make goals to stay healthy for each other and your children if you have them. This will create peace when thinking of your future within your marriage and family.
Oh, the daunting “F Word” is always a factor in why married couples split. Finances can become a huge long-standing issue for baby boomers as they have gone through the ups and downs of the economy together. Perhaps they made it through the recession a decade ago and now they are facing retirement issues and the way they would like to spend their retirement, pensions, savings, etc.
One spouse may be resentful of the other for overspending habits, poor investment decisions, lack of drive to create more financial savings for the family, and the list goes on.… This might be a reason for calling it quits and heading to a silver split.
Baby boomers are likely to have children who also add to their financial burdens. The silver splitters have been through a great deal financially over the years and this is a huge reason for divorce.
When clients come to us for prenups, we make sure they are upfront with their finances and have had the talk about what they are coming into the marriage with. However, for baby boomers who have been married for quite some time, this conversation may have never happened. We suggest talking through finances without blaming your partner. Think of the ways you can personally help in any financial hardships and create a financial strategy as husband and wife. Create short- and long-term goals and seek help from a financial planner. Divorce will be an extreme financial burden and we suggest attempting to sort it out before silver splitting. The idea of spending your retirement on a divorce is catastrophic. If you come to the decision for divorce, we suggest doing this amicably.
This is something we hear of often as family law attorneys and truly it is saddening. We always ask our clients if they have contacted a marriage and family therapist before coming to us for their free consultation.
Marriage should last a lifetime and when hopeful couples declare their vows to each other they are not thinking or believing their spark will dim. Silver splitters have been through many years of ups and downs and circumstances may come between the love they once had for each other. Life may have brought them to different paths and interests and those going through grey divorce often find themselves to be different than they once were at a young age.
Another concept we hear of often is “Empty Nesters Syndrome”. This is the emptiness parents feel when they raise their children and they all move out of the house. The spouses have been known to look at one another and not really experience the singular bond they once had.
As mentioned before, we always ask our clients in their initial consult if they have reached out to a family and marriage therapist. We always ask our clients if they are 100 percent certain they would like to continue with divorce proceedings. We suggest married couples check in with each other to be certain they are fulfilling their marital duties to grow and evolve with each other. If your hobbies and interests are different, think of ways you can meet in the middle. If you are parents, remember that your marriage should come first and make sure you are taking time to focus on your bond rather than putting all your energy into the children. Know the grass is truly green where you water it. Be sure you are feeding into your partner and this will help you remain bonded together for a lifetime.
We hope this helped you in understanding what divorce is later in life and for some, this may be the best option. No matter your circumstances, we are here to help. Please reach out to us for your free consultation.