Divorce may not be on the rise in Canada in general, but for those over the age of 50 statistics look a bit different. Divorce in older adults, colloquially known as "grey divorce", is happening more and more frequently in British Columbia and across the country. There are a few theories as to why this family law trend is taking place, but it certainly doesn't show any signs of slowing down.
What are the implications for the family? According to research, more than half of grown children whose parents split are either supportive or OK with the change. The divorcees, on the other hand, report that the experience can be emotionally devastating. However, the decision to leave a marriage later in life is not as difficult for most as the death of a spouse. Researchers note that much of the emotional devastation divorces often feel with the decision to divorce is guilt and sadness related to their children.
Uncertainty, loneliness and depression were some of the negative feelings people reported feeling with a divorce later in life. However, many claimed they felt the decision benefited them. They used terms like freedom, self-identity and fulfillment to describe the new chapter of their lives.
Divorce at any age can bring mixed emotions and changing family dynamics. Those with children will undoubtedly find their kids impacted by the breakup, though grown children tend to be better at managing the situation. Older adults in British Columbia considering a divorce should discuss their situation with a family law lawyer.