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Why do so many couples divorce after decades of marriage?

It is no longer unusual for couples in Illinois and elsewhere who are older than 50 years to split up -- often after decades of marriage. It has become known as a "gray divorce," and many people wonder what would be the reason for this phenomenon. An author of a book on the subject has identified some common causes, one of which is the spouses growing apart over time rather than one triggering event. He also says when a couple decides to file for divorce, family and friends are often caught entirely unaware.

Age can play a role when there is an age difference that might have seemed insignificant decades ago but becomes an issue in later life. Another reason was identified as boredom, which could also include complacency. This often becomes apparent when years of career responsibilities and chasing goals make home life boring and without challenges. Spouses often forget how to be attentive and share feelings with each other after years of focusing on external matters.

Linked to the previously mentioned reasons could be the sexual incompatibility that might become an issue due to hormonal changes that come with age. Then there is the matter of financial disputes that may become more pronounced when incomes become limited. The author of the book says financial conflicts are more likely when couples have to deal with significant levels of debt and only retirement funds available.

Regardless of the reason for considering a divorce later in life, careful consideration and meticulous planning may be required before taking such a step. Seeking the support and guidance of an experienced Illinois divorce attorney might be a wise move. Along with the legal assistance, a lawyer may be able to provide valuable input that might help to ensure a post-divorce financial stability.

Source:, "Why Couples Divorce After Decades of Marriage", Linda Melone, Accessed on Dec. 8, 2017

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