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Divorce in later years may be a second chance for happiness

There are marriages that last a lifetime; there are some that just feel that way. The divorce rate among older couples, aged 50 and over, has been rising steadily for a number of years, while the rate among younger couples has evened out. California is known as the Golden State; however, many of those who reach their golden years here may include divorce as part of their retirement plans.

There are a number of reasons for this change in attitude. Societal norms have evolved to a point where divorce no longer carries the stigma it once did. With advances in science and health care, life expectancy has increased across the globe. While older couples may have once stayed together for the sake of their children, once those children have moved on to have lives of their own as adults, there may seem little point remaining trapped in an unfulfilling marriage.

With every divorce, there are financial considerations. The priorities of a person facing retirement age will usually be different than for parents with young children. Pension funds and health care plans may be affected by divorce, as well as life insurance policies. Welfare payments are covered by state law, so it makes sense for California residents to check how divorce will affect them in that regard.

Certain inalienable rights are written into the Declaration of Independence, including the pursuit of happiness. Sometimes, it is better to part company with a long-term spouse with the possibility of remaining friends, than to endure in an unhappy marriage. Personal fulfilment may come at a cost, so it is important to seek appropriate advice and guidance when considering divorce to ensure that one can move forward to a more positive future.

Source: The Dallas Morning News, "After spending lives together, more older couples are divorcing", Abby Ellin, Dec. 4, 2015

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