There’s a rising trend among baby boomers. If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you’re part of the first generation of people in California and across the country to divorce and remarry as young adults. Some analysts speculate that this may be key as to why there has been a tremendous increase in the rate of divorce among people in this age group.

In fact, current data shows that gray divorce, which is the colloquial term for late-life divorce, has more than doubled in the past 20 years. Perhaps you can relate, if you’ve been married for several decades and have recently determined that you no longer wish to maintain your current relationship. There are multiple reasons people your age get divorced; the reason you’ve chosen to do so isn’t as important as whether or not you know how to protect your assets and where to seek support.

Possible reasons for increased rate

You’ve grown used to living with the same person throughout the years. Late-life divorce can be emotionally difficult, as you and your spouse have shared many memories together. That doesn’t guarantee that your marriage will last a lifetime, however. The following issues may be among those you consider your own reasons for filing divorce papers in court: 

  • Many people who divorce later in life say they grew apart from their spouse. People live longer nowadays and that can place a strain on a marital relationship.
  • If you, your spouse or both of you recently retired, it may have created a new dynamic in your marriage that your relationship was not able to withstand.
  • There may be numerous issues you repeatedly set on the back-burner while you were raising your family. Now that your kids have grown up and are on their own, you see no reason to continue to live in an unhappy relationship.
  • Infidelity, substance abuse and other extenuating circumstances are causal factors in many late-life-divorces.

You may encounter some unique challenges as you navigate the family law system for the purpose of ending your marriage later in life. This is not uncommon, as people who have been married for decades typically have more assets, investments and other financial issues to deal with than those who divorce at younger ages.

Building a strong support system

You probably know one or more people who have already settled a late-life divorce. Even if you are a private person, it might help to discuss your situation with someone you trust to gain insight and knowledge of how things work and what your options are. You may be able to settle your divorce without going to court; then again, your situation may necessitate litigation. The more you know about California laws ahead of time, the easier it will be to protect your interests.