It used to be that when people thought of a divorcing couple, they automatically pictured young to middle-aged adults. However, the number of seniors or nearly seniors choosing divorce is rapidly rising across the country. Many Nebraska residents may be able to relate to this current trend now dubbed “gray divorce.”

According to official statistics, the divorce rate for older people has skyrocketed over the past couple of decades, almost tripling for the 65 and older crowd. Experts propose several practical reasons for this drastic change. For one, people are now living longer and would rather be happy in the years they have left, as this could be a very long time relative to decades past. Also, without children to worry about, custody issues are nonexistent, making for a much easier divorce for many.

On the other hand, older divorced people may face challenges different from those experienced by the younger set. After relying on a partner for so many years, a newly single senior may find adjusting to a new lifestyle especially difficult. As the financial picture changes, many divorced individuals in the senior cohort also face financial difficulties they may not have had had they divorced at a younger age, at least not to the same degree. Then there are the challenges of meeting a new companion, which may be more difficult later in life.

Divorce at any age often takes a significant toll on a person, emotionally, financially and otherwise. Nebraska seniors considering divorce may avoid some potential minefields, but often encounter their own set of difficulties. A consultation with an experienced family law attorney can help seniors pursuing divorce ease the transition from a partnership spanning decades to a new life on one’s own.