Phone: 301-738-7770
Steven J. Gaba
Phone: 301-738-7770

The key stages of divorce for people over 50

Many of our readers have heard that the number of people divorcing in their 50s and older is increasing. This phenomenon (somewhat unflatteringly named "gray divorce") is occurring even as divorce among all other age groups is decreasing. About 25 percent of all divorces in this country involve at least one spouse who is over 50.

One financial advisor even started a website called DivorcedOver50.com to help people deal with some of the unique issues facing people who divorce later in life. He says that he's found from talking with other people in the "divorced over 50" club that the key to letting this turning point be a positive one involves three key steps:

-- Survive: This involves allowing yourself to grieve for the relationship that has ended. It also includes just getting through the logistical legal and financial aspects of divorce. If you have children (whether younger ones or adults), it's important to deal with their feelings about it as well.

-- Revive: This is the state where you learn to forgive your spouse. This can free up a lot of energy to move on to a better life. This is also the time where you should remember the positive things about the marriage (such as your children) and even how the experience of going through the divorce made you a stronger person. People who have been part of a couple for many years often have to rediscover who they are as individuals.

-- Thrive: This means different things to different people, but it always involves being your best self. For some, it includes eventually getting involved in a new relationship. It may also involve finding a new career or pursuing activities such as travel that you didn't before because your spouse wasn't interested.

Essentially, all of these steps can help lead you to being a stronger, happier person. However, you have to let yourself make your way through them at your own pace. There are plenty of resources out there where older divorced people can connect and share their thoughts, feelings, frustrations and advice. Your Maryland family law attorney can also likely refer you to some local support groups or therapists who can help you through these stages.

Source: Huffington Post, "Navigating The 3 Stages Of Divorce After 50," Barry Gold, Jan. 18, 2016

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