A 2012 study done by researchers in Kentucky found that divorce for people 50 and older had doubled since 1990, and researchers say several factors may account for this. Rising longevity, a shift in expectations about marital satisfaction and women’s increased economic independence all play a part. Since second or third marriage are more than twice as likely to end in divorce, this may also be a factor.

Divorce may also come with an increased risk of health problems, isolation and financial difficulties. Depression and anxiety are common among older adults going through divorce, and this can have a negative effect on chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. These illnesses can also be adversely affected by the isolation that many people, especially men, experience after divorce. Divorce can also mean the loss of a caregiver. Women are more vulnerable to financial difficulties, and some divorced older adults may struggle to afford necessities such as food and medical care.

There are steps older adults can take to safeguard their health. They should make an effort to get out of the house. Joining a club or church may help. They should avoid too much alcohol, exercise regularly and consider getting a pet for companionship. A counselor may help them work through emotional issues, and they should see a doctor for any physical issues.

Property division is more likely to be the main concern of older adults since they are less likely to have minor children. Fair division of property can be important in making sure that both people are financially stable after the divorce. Unless there is a prenuptial agreement, they will need to go through the process of property division, and this could be complex if they have been married for a long time and have accumulated significant assets.