Older Americans are divorcing at ever higher rates. People over 50 account for a quarter of all divorces. In the past, older couples were less likely to end a marriage late in life, but times have changed. More than 25 percent of people over 50 are divorced, whereas 50 years ago, that number was only 2.8 percent.
The Empty Nest and Divorce
There are many reasons for this trend. People are living longer, healthier lives, and there are more women in the workforce, making them financially more independent than they were previously. Today, divorce is also more socially acceptable and without the stigma it carried in the past. Often the trigger is when a couple is done raising their children and they are out of the house. Suddenly alone again without the distractions of children, any weaknesses in the marriage become glaringly obvious. It could be that one spouse realizes how much of life still lies ahead and does not want to spend it in a marriage that is not fulfilling. However, life without the kids can be a wonderful time to develop both individually and together as a couple. To make it through the transition it can be helpful to anticipate what life will be like.
Preparing for the Empty Nest
It is natural to feel a sense of loss when the last child is out of the house. There are many spouses or partners who make a conscious decision to stay home and raise children. For them it has been their life’s work and that work is done. Spouses may feel differently and handle their loss differently. Respect for each spouse’s feelings is key to a smoother transition.
Before all the kids are out and on their own, try to envision together what life will be like and what goals and hopes you have for this new phase of life. It can make it easier if plans have already been made and agreed upon, rather than being faced with an empty house and wondering what comes next.
Sometimes problems exist in the marriage that were easy to overlook when the kids were the focus of the family. If they cannot be worked out together at home, therapy can help resolve issues that could otherwise destroy what has been a long relationship.
Spend time together doing both things you have always enjoyed, and also look for new activities that you can learn together. New experiences provide time to bond and discover unexpected things about each other. Do not wait until the nest is empty to enjoy spending time with each other again.
Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Provide Compassionate Counsel for Divorcing Couples
If you are over 50 and contemplating a divorce in Maryland, there are many things to consider. The caring Towson divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC can help you decide the best legal course of action. We are committed to understanding your needs and helping you achieve your goals. Call us at 443-589-0150 to schedule a free consultation about your case. You can also contact us online. Our offices are located in Towson, Pikesville, and Hunt Valley allowing us to serve clients throughout Maryland, including Baltimore County, Howard County, Harford County, and Carroll County.