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The Baby Boomers and the Gen Xers are getting older, but they still know how to take matters into their own hands when it comes to their happiness. For many Massachusetts residents, this can mean seeking a divorce later in life. You might recognize this term as “gray divorce.”

Gray divorce usually applies to those over the age of 50. In previous generations, married couples usually stayed together, even if they were miserable with each other. This was largely due to traditional family roles with the wife staying home to raise the children and take care of the household. Most women simply lacked the means to support themselves, and thus stayed in unhappy marriages. As you know, things have changed in the last few decades.

As Psychology Today explains, about one in four divorces in 2010 involved couples over the age of 50. Here are some facts about gray divorce that you may find surprising:

  • Children can have a difficult time accepting their parents’ divorce at any age, meaning that even adult children can find their parents’ divorce devastating.
  • Older people who get a divorce are usually on subsequent marriages; those who divorced earlier in life tend to have the courage to do it again.
  • Senior citizens who take charge of their futures by ending an unhappy marriage may improve their health and overall happiness.

Gray divorce often involves complicated financial matters that younger couples don’t have, such as the division of complex marital property and handling retirement pensions and other benefits. Therefore, this information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.