There used to be a time when marriage meant “til death do you part.” Even when problems arose, couples stayed married under any circumstances rather than go through a divorce. Today, however, it seems even those who have been married for many years are realizing that when it’s over, it’s over. The trend has resulted in a steady rise in “grey” divorce rates all across Canada, including British Columbia.
Divorce among the senior set – those 50 years of age or older – is on the rise and dramatically so. Statistically, it seems that women are taking the lead in ending partnerships that have often spanned decades. Stepping out of a marriage after 40-something years, no matter what the reasons, takes courage. But many older women are choosing to become single even if it comes with initial sadness and having to deal with the practicalities of divorce, such as property division, and breaking the news to adult children, grandchildren, other family members, and friends.
Many couples in “grey” divorce situations married at an early age. The women in these marriages say they never learned to stand on their own, and their identities were always wrapped up in an “us.” So, when children ultimately leave the nest and an aged couple is faced simply with each other’s company, many realize they no longer have much in common at all and make the decision, as individuals or as a couple, to separate.
Couples in British Columbia who decide to end a marriage or long-term partnership face many issues. Divorce in general can be difficult, but when a marriage of many years ends, it can be particularly stressful, especially when the financial assets of the couple have been linked for decades. In such cases, it is prudent to enlist the advice and guidance of a British Columbia lawyer experienced in family law. Divorce may be a hard path to travel, but a lawyer can help those going through these times to resolve any complex issues effectively, efficiently and compassionately.