The rising trend of gray divorce in the US
These days, people are living longer than ever before. Consequently, marriages are now lasting longer than they did in the past. For some couples, this additional time is proving a strain on the marriage – particularly as they consider how they wish to spend their retirement years.
Many couples have determined that they are no longer a good match, even following a lengthy marriage. According to a study conducted by researchers at Bowling Green State University, from 1990 to 2010, the divorce rate doubled for those over the age of 50 in the United States. In 2010, approximately one out of every four divorces involved individuals who were 50 years of age or above.
The effect of a gray divorce is generally different than when a younger couple chooses to divorce. For instance, in most cases, the couple’s children are grown, making child custody arrangements unnecessary. In addition, the assets acquired by a couple during a lengthy marriage are often more complex to divide than those of a couple in their 20s or 30s.
Despite the differences, it is still wise for the adult children of a gray divorce to take steps to navigate their new familial arrangement successfully.
Tips for adult children of a gray divorce
One of the most important steps for adult children whose parents are divorcing to take is to establish boundaries with their parents. In many cases, their parents will begin dating again. The adult relationship established between parent and child may entice the divorced parent to share more details than the child would care to hear. Consequently, adult children in this situation ought to establish limits with their parents to ensure they do not hear information with which they are not comfortable.
In addition, adult children should avoid feeling the need to pick sides in the divorce. As adults, children of a gray divorce are bound to have more informed opinions about the situation than young children would after their parent’s divorce. Nevertheless, adult children of divorcing parents should similarly not be put in the middle of the parent’s split.
Finally, adult children of divorcing parents should avoid the temptation to act as their parent’s friend or the mediator between the two. While adult children may have the capacity to act in such a fashion, doing so can only complicate the situation. Rather, both parents ought to seek the advice of an attorney to hash out the details of the divorce.
If you are considering a gray divorce, you ought to take steps to protect your assets. Consulting with a skilled family law attorney will help ensure you do not lose your financial security.