Gray divorce is a relatively new term. This type of divorce, where individuals over the age of 50 decide to end their marriages, has become increasingly common in recent years. In fact, couples between the ages of 55 and 64 have a higher divorce rate than any other age group.
While many factors may contribute to a later-in-life divorce, individuals often elect to call it quits during midlife crises. If your spouse is in the middle of a midlife crisis and asks for a divorce, you must take steps to protect yourself and your legal interests.
Be sure your spouse is serious
Midlife crises occur when individuals see a disparity between their actual lives and the lives they thought they would live. During a midlife crisis, a person may behave both abnormally and unpredictably. Consequently, you should be sure your spouse is serious about divorce rather than being moody or blowing hot air.
Inventory your personal and marital assets
Following your divorce, you can probably keep everything you personally own while splitting the marital estate with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. While you have access to financial records, consider inventorying all personal and marital assets. Also, gather the documents you need either to begin the divorce process or respond to your spouse’s filing.
Think about your kids
If you still have minor children living at home, you may have to work out a custody agreement and parenting plan. First, though, you must be sure your kids have the emotional support they need to cope with your divorce. If the young ones in your family require counseling, connect them with the appropriate services. You may also want to seek therapy for yourself.
The frustrating thing about midlife crisis divorces is they often sneak up on unsuspecting spouses. Remember, even though your divorce may be shocking, what you do in the first few days and weeks after finding out about it may make a considerable difference in your future.