The baby boomer generation is historically known for many things, including avid promotion of love, protest against war and its great passion for rock and roll. If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you’re part of the baby boomer generation. You may be able to relate to peers who got married and raised their families in the post-World War II era.

There’s another thing Kentucky baby boomers have in common with others between the ages of 54 and 70-plus. A lot of you are getting divorced. In fact, while the overall rate of divorce has declined in the United States, it has more than doubled in the past 20 years in your age group. Why is that, and where can you turn for support if you and your spouse have decided to go your separate ways after decades of marriage?

The reasons

No two marriages are exactly the same; however, you may find you can relate to other spouses who often cite the following issues as key factors leading to late-life divorce:

  • Life expectancy has increased, meaning spouses nowadays often have to live together a lot longer than spouses of previous generations. Many find they no longer get along.
  • After years of focusing on establishing themselves financially and raising families, many baby boomers say that, once their kids are on their own, they realize they have drifted apart as spouses and no longer have anything in common.
  • Perhaps you know what it’s like to continually put marital problems on hold because of focusing on other issues, such as raising your children, paying a mortgage, etc., and now that you’re nearing retirement or recently retired, you feel like you no longer have to stay in an unhappy relationship.
  • Issues that plague younger spouses are often key factors in gray divorce, as well, such as infidelity, substance abuse, pornography addictions or disputes regarding finances.

No matter what your particular reasons for wanting to divorce, it can be helpful to speak to a friend who has already navigated the process. He or she may be able to provide encouragement and support as you make a significant lifestyle change after many years of marriage.

Gray divorce issues can be complex

If you’ve been with your spouse for two, three or more decades, you may encounter numerous challenges when it comes time to divide your marital assets or resolve other issues as you negotiate a settlement, especially if you disagree on a certain topic.

Ending a marriage later in life often includes complex issues involving taxes, retirement benefits, Social Security issues or business matters, if you and your spouse own a business together. Many Kentucky spouses find it less stressful to rely on experienced legal representation rather than try to go it alone in court.