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Causal factors of divorce in marriages lasting 20 years or more

You've likely heard all the sayings about how time flies and that you should enjoy time with your kids while they're young because they will be grown and on their own in what seems like the blink of an eye. Being married 20 years or more, raising kids, and perhaps, already having a few grandkids to enjoy may illustrate how many years have actually passed between the day you said, "I do," and the day you filed your divorce papers.

You're definitely not the only Washington resident filing for divorce this year; in fact, you are also likely not the only one who happens to have been married two or more decades before doing so. Divorce beyond age 50 is becoming more common throughout the nation. Some say the numbers of those filing for divorce late in life has tripled in recent years. While you know better than anyone what led to your own marital break-up, you may wonder what has caused the increase in long-term marriage divorce.

You may relate to these issues

No two marriages are the same and therefore, neither are any two divorces. One of the key factors toward achieving an agreeable settlement is knowing how to tap into available support resources when needed. Beyond that, understanding what types of issues lead to late-life divorce may also help you come to terms with your own situation. The following list includes reasons most often cited for divorce when couples have been together 20 or more years:

  • Perhaps surprisingly, a major factor in many late-life divorces is marital infidelity. Whether an extramarital affair occurred earlier in a relationship and the spouse who was hurt stayed married for the sake of children involved or an older spouse strays into another relationship later in life, this issue is often the straw that breaks the camel's back.
  • Women are typically more financially independent nowadays than they used to be. This appears to have greatly impacted the divorce rate among those age 50 and beyond.
  • People live longer now, which means married couples wind up having to live together a lot longer than those who lived in earlier centuries had to. Life expectancy has apparently affected the divorce rate as well, as people find it challenging to stay together longer.
  • Personalities change and many older spouses say they simply drifted apart. After retiring from their jobs, they found they no longer had anything in common with their spouses.
  • You may be one of many Washington spouses who finally decided you no longer wished to remain in an unsatisfying relationship.

You may relate to one or more issues on this list. Then again, the reasons you filed for divorce may be entirely different. The type of support you are able to obtain is often more crucial than the exact events that may have led to your marital break-up. You may find it helpful to talk to others who have gone through similar experiences.

If legal problems arise

One of the downsides of long-term marriage divorce is that you may encounter challenges related to financial issues, such as retirement funds, taxes or existing trusts and other estate matters. This is when strong and experienced support is most valuable.