Some people in Florida may have heard the term "grey divorce" to refer to the growing phenomenon of people 50 and older ending their relationships. Researchers say that people are living longer and placing higher expectations on their marriage. With women no longer as economically dependent on their husbands as in the past, more older people may be seeking a divorce, but there can be drawbacks.
The chronic stress that often accompanies a divorce can lead to anxiety, insomnia, depression, overeating and alcohol abuse. Conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and Parkinson's disease can all be worsened by stress. Stress can also lead to isolation, and older adults may not feel like leaving the house. Men are particularly vulnerable to losing social ties that were maintained by their wives. Women, who may have been paid less and left a career to care for children, are more likely to face financial challenges after a divorce. This can include struggling to afford necessities such as food and medicine.
It is important for older divorced adults to manage the stress that may accompany this change. They may be able to reach out socially by joining a church or club, and they should make a point of getting out of the house daily. They should try to exercise regularly and seek professional help for any physical or emotional problems.
Child custody is less likely to be an issue for older adults, but the division of assets can make a significant difference in what life is like for newly-single people. They should look carefully at their financial situation to determine what kind of property split would be beneficial, and bring their lawyers into the loop when doing so.