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There are both challenges and benefits of later in life divorce

Over the past 20 years, the numbers of couples who are splitting up after decades of marriage has risen. While each older couple have their own reasons for seeking a divorce after years of marriage, there are both challenges and benefits when getting a so-called "gray divorce." There are likely many California residents who may be contemplating this step who have questions about both the process and the aftermath.

Recently, several people who had divorced later in life shared some of the wisdom they had garnered after going through the process. One of the first things that was shared was how adult children reacted to the reality of their parents splitting up. Many couples believe that it is better to wait until the kids are grown; however, younger children in the home may actually adapt faster than those on the outside. Another unanticipated result was how difficult it was for a woman to re-enter the job market after spending years as a homemaker. This can be countered by researching the market ahead of time while also determining whether more education could be beneficial.

Other wisdom that was shared was how emotional the process could be since a long-term marriage provided built-in companionship. This can be offset by seeking out volunteer opportunities and community involvement. Others were surprised that some friends did not remain close once the divorce was over. Some expressed their surprise at the cost involved. There are ways to reduce this by gathering information oneself and limiting communication with professionals as even phone calls can add to the price of the dissolution.

Lastly, some who have come through the process stated that they obtained a new sense of liberty as they had no one else to answer to when making personal decisions. Though some claimed that this freedom could feel overwhelming at times, most were excited at the prospect of having the freedom to live as they chose. Though a later-in-life divorce may feel challenging and overwhelming at times, the entire process may lead to one feeling empowered by the process. Those California residents who are unsure how to begin the process may seek the advice of a seasoned family law attorney to guide them.

Source:, "Divorce after 50: What I wish I had known beforehand", Claire Zulkey, Dec. 7, 2017

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