Decade-by-Decade Guide to Surviving Divorce

So many studies have been done analyzing a couple’s risk of divorce based on how old they were when they got married. For example, studies show that once a person reaches 32 years old, their risk of divore increases for every year afterward that they wait to get married. Ideally, a person should be married by their late 20s, if they choose to get married at all.

The truth is that a marriage can end at any time. There is no clear formula for success. A marriage can last a few weeks, a few months, a few years, a few decades, or even a lifetime. Sometimes divorces happen when the couple is young. Other times, it happens later in life. And as the trend in gray divorces shows, longevity is no predictor of success. A couple who has been married for 30 or 40 years can still decide to divorce.

However, the age at which you divorce can affect your outcome. When it comes to divorce, there is no such thing as “one size fits all.” It becomes different as you get older. You may have kids to worry about. You may be without a job. You may be retired and on a limited income. Here is a guide to help you survive divorce in your 30s and beyond.

Divorce in Your 30s

A lot of people are delaying marriage, so it is rare to see a couple in their 20s divorce, although it does happen. The wave of divorces tends to start in the 30s.

While you may feel like a failure for getting divorced in your 30s — especially if you did not even make it to your five-year anniversary — the truth is that it is much easier to go through a divorce when you are younger. You still have a lot of time to save up money for retirement and otherwise rebuild your life. You are young enough to find love and get married again, if you so choose.

While things may be more complicated if kids are involved, you should be in a good place with your career. You may own a home. You may have some savings built up.

People in their 30s are able to cope with divorce well because they are still young and optimistic. They still have the energy to juggle kids and a career.

If you do not have kids or a lot of assets, the good news is that you may be able to get an uncontested divorce. This means you and your spouse can agree on everything and settle your divorce outside of court.

Divorce in Your 40s

At 40, you are feeling middle-aged. You may be more established in life, though, and have more assets. By this time, you may have witnessed your friends’ and family members’ divorces, so you may know what to expect.

However, divorce does get more difficult as you get older. You may have kids, but they are likely older (teens). They will be able to better cope with the challenges of divorce, so this may be a good time to get out if you have been contemplating divorce for a while.

Your 40s are a good time to focus on your career and accumulate wealth. A divorce can help you accomplish this, since you will no longer have to work on a failing marriage. This is also a good time to work on your personal life. You can experience interests and hobbies that you never got to experience while married. You are also still in a good place to set new goals and start new relationships.

Divorce in Your 50s

This is a tricky age to divorce, as your career is winding down and you are likely planning for retirement. Unfortunately, older-age divorces are on the rise, doubling in the past 20 years. Many couples are now empty nesters and they are realizing that with the children gone, they no longer have anything binding them together. They are bored with each other.

Divorces are becoming more socially acceptable and therefore more common. Women are in the workforce and many are financially independent, so money is not a concern. However, it can be a concern when it gets split in a divorce. Many couples have accumulated a lot of assets by now, so splitting it can be a complicated matter. Complicating things further is the fact that retirement is on the horizon, so you have less time to save up.

Divorce in Your 60s

Why do people wait until their 60s to divorce? They are discovering that they still may have decades of life left and they want to live as happily as possible. However, this is the most complicated time to divorce.

If you have not retired yet, keep working. If you have retired, you may need to re-enter the workforce to make ends meet. This can be a challenge if you are like so many older Americans and suffer from health issues. If you or your spouse has a disability, who will take care of you? As you get older, you may have fewer friends and family members who can help.

The good news is that you will likely receive financial assistance from Social Security. Plus, your home is likely paid off, so living expenses should be lower.

Seek Legal Help

No two divorces are the same. The divorce process and outcome can vary at different ages. No matter how old you are, you should do your best to be prepared.

No matter your age or financial situation, Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler can help you deal with the effects of a divorce. Schedule a consultation today by calling (954) 346-6464 or filling out the online form.