The house is much too quiet. The last child has been dropped off at college and now you are finally free. Free to indulge in all the things you were putting off as part of your job as a full time parent. The laundry is now drastically reduced. The refrigerator doesn’t need to be replenished nearly as often as before. And you get your spouse all to yourself.
On the ride home from dropping your child at school, the car is quiet from lack of conversation. Maybe you told yourself that emotions were too raw, this alone time with your spouse too new. But maybe you just couldn’t think of anything to say.
Gray divorces have become a trend among marital issues. The divorce rate among people 50 and older has doubled in the last twenty years. So many couple have woken up in their empty nests with the realization that their children have been both the buffers and the glue that has preserved a longstanding marriage that no longer serves either spouse.
It might be that two people who have raised a family together find, when they are finally alone, that they have little in common anymore. It could be with healthy lifestyles, people can look forward to long and fulfilling lives after fifty and are committed to living out those lives free from an unsatisfying marriage.
Perhaps the focus on raising the children has been a way to deny the issues in the marriage. Once you are alone in the house, there is no mistaking that the prospect of spending your golden years in a lifeless marriage seems like a poor decision.
The gray divorce is something quite new to this generation. If parents did not divorce in their early years, then they just stayed together whether they were happy or not. Laws protecting the financial well being of both spouses and easy access to information over the Internet have made possible what many had never considered before. Freedom when the children have left the nest. And freedom from a marriage you have outgrown.
If this sounds familiar, or if you have questions or want more information about a gray divorce for yourself, a parent, or someone you know, please call the family law attorneys at HoganWillig at 636-7600.