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The divorce process can bring up many concerns and stressors, regardless of your age, individual circumstances and the approach you take to divorce. However, at an older age you likely face a number of unique issues that can make it particularly important to plan ahead and work through your divorce efficiently while safeguarding your interests.

In addition, you should not feel guilty or stuck in your marriage. If you have children or other family members encouraging you to stay married even though your marriage has become toxic, focus on your best interests and your future.

How common is divorce among older adults?

The U.S. Census Bureau published information on divorce among older adults. According to their research, divorce among those 50 and older has continued to increase since the 1990s. Data shows that in 2016, 43% of both men and women between 55 and 64 had gotten a divorce before, while 39% of those between 65 and 74 had been through a divorce. Among those 75 and older, 24% had gotten a divorce.

What challenges can arise due to older adult divorces?

From high levels of stress to dealing with the division of assets that you have accumulated over the course of your life and making changes to your estate plan, getting a divorce later in life can bring up many different issues. Sometimes, a divorce can affect an older adult’s ability to live independently, and you could have to make adjustments to many different facets of your life.

At an older age, it is particularly important to prepare for your divorce from an emotional, legal and financial perspective.