Your last child goes to college, and you file for divorce

Posted by Lauren S. CohenJun 10, 20200 Comments

Gray divorce, the common term referring to those getting divorced around 50+ years old, has been rising in recent years. People who may have been married for decades are deciding to end their marriages. Why is this happening?

One reason is that couples do stay together as long as the children live at home, even when they want to get divorced. Much of the time, it's because they want to give the children a more traditional upbringing, they want to insulate them from divorce and/or they just feel like keeping the family unit together is more important than their own happiness.

When that last child gets in the car and heads to college, though, they finally feel free. They decide they should split up at last and go their own way. With just the two of them living together, the married couple sees no reason to stay married.

Is this wise? You can see both sides of the argument. Parents may think it's best for the children if they stay together. They just love their children and want to put them first. On the other side of the coin, though, that may mean that the children live in a stressful and unhappy home. Is that really what is best for them after all?

There are many things to consider. If you do file for divorce after the kids have moved out of the house, though, just make sure you know what legal steps you can take. At this stage in life, divorce issues like property division and retirement planning can get very complex.