Getting divorced later in life, often called gray divorce, is becoming more common in Tennessee and across the country. According to Kiplinger magazine, the divorce rate for couples over the age of 50 has more than doubled in 25 years. Many of these divorces are between married couples of 20 years or more.

Couples getting divorced in their later years may have some different considerations to make than younger couples getting divorced.

Things to think about

During a gray divorce, retirement money is often split between spouses. Because many older couples will be nearing retirement or already retired, this can make a big impact on their financial lives. It is also important to note that lifetime alimony is usually always granted when long-time marriages end in divorce. According to Forbes magazine, other financial considerations to think about are how divorce will affect Social Security benefits, life insurance policies, long-term care insurance and other investments.

Financial issues are not the only things to think about when considering a gray divorce. While there may no longer be children at home, adult children may still have a difficult time with the news that their parents are getting divorced.

Why older couples get divorced

It may seem surprising that after years of marriage a couple should finally decide to go through with a divorce, but there are many reasons for gray divorce, including infidelity, financial problems, addiction and often, simply growing apart.  Many older couples find that once the kids have moved out and they are no longer occupied with raising a family, they do not know one another like they used to. With longer life expectancy rates and better health, some couples may want to look for companionship that fits who they are now.