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What causes long-term marriages to end in divorce?

No two relationships are exactly the same. That's why you can never predict whose marriages will last a lifetime and whose will end in divorce, at least not with any certainty. If you have already celebrated your 50th birthday and are contemplating divorce, the first thing you should know is that you are not alone in your struggle.  

Many Kentucky spouses are divorcing after long-term (20+ years) marriages. While every situation is unique, research has shown there are several common factors in long-term marital breakdown.

Five issues that shake the foundation of long-term marriages 

Times have changed, and so has marriage and family life. People live longer nowadays, and cultural norms have shifted. All these changes have prompted more over-50 spouses to consider seeking a split after many years of marriage than in previous generations. The following list includes common reasons people beyond age 50 get divorced: 

  • They stayed for the children. Now that their children are adults and living on their own, spouses no longer feel compelled to stick it out.  
  • They can no longer get along. Increased lifespan means spouses must live together a lot longer than the average couple used to have to do. In some situations, this creates tension that spouses determine they cannot resolve. 
  • Someone cheated. Infidelity is a major problem in any marriage, but often more common in marriages where one or both spouses is beyond age 50. 
  • They want to exercise their independence. Many spouses, particularly women, have strong desires for independence. And since in many households both spouses earn income, spouses may no longer feel a need to stay in unsatisfying relationships purely for financial support. 
  • They changed. Personalities change, and so do people's interests. Many spouses simply decide they no longer have enough in common to stay married.  

It's safe to assume that the longer you've been in a marriage, the more complicated divorce proceedings might be, especially if you never signed a prenuptial agreement. Various factors, such as tax implications, retirement funds, off-shore bank accounts or investments may significantly impact the ultimate outcome of your settlement. 

A new journey now isn't out of the question 

Whether you share these experiences or are facing an entirely different set of circumstances, it can be helpful to talk to others who have trod similar paths before you. Divorce, even later in life, doesn't necessarily have to mean the end of your happiness. By tapping into available resources and connecting with local support networks, you can overcome any obstacles that arise and create a plan for a new and fruitful future.  

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Dietz & Overmann, PLLC
130 Dudley Road Suite 150
Edgewood, KY 41017

Toll Free: 866-342-1559
Phone: 859-757-2978
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