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Why empty nesters consider divorce

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2023 | Divorce

It can be an adjustment for parents when their children move out. While many Florida couples relish the freedom of having their home to themselves, others may find that their relationship is strained. Sometimes, this strain leads to divorce.

Reasons why empty nesters divorce

Many people are surprised when couples who have been together for a long time announce that they are divorcing. Sometimes, however, these couples have been experiencing marital problems or indifference for years.

Parents in unhappy marriages often stay together because they are still committed to raising their children. They may also not want to upend their family’s lifestyle by selling the family home, dividing assets, or adjusting to a single-income household.

Another reason is that the spouses have been so distracted by childrearing that they neglected their relationship. Eventually, they realize they actively dislike each other or have grown apart.

Because empty nesters are typically over 40, they may be motivated to divorce because they don’t want to spend their last productive years in an unhappy marriage. With no young children to worry about, ending the marriage becomes an attractive option.

Avoiding divorce

Experts caution against quickly divorcing after the last child leaves home. If spouses find they aren’t getting along or experiencing personal dissatisfaction, individual or marital counseling might help. The spouses might be having trouble adjusting to their new situation. Once the adjustment has passed, the couple may grow close again.

If the couple has been focused on financially supporting children and parenting duties, they could step back and consider making positive changes in their lifestyle. This could include moving to a different area, changing jobs or work schedules, downsizing their home, or allocating more time and money to travel or hobbies.

Special considerations

However, divorce may be the best option for unhappy spouses. Because older adults have less time to recover financially, both spouses must have a firm understanding of their finances so a fair settlement can be reached.

Even adult children have strong feelings about their parents divorcing. Tensions may run high after parents announce plans, and rebuilding relationships may be challenging.

Any major change can be unsettling, and an empty nest can lead people to reconsider their marriage. Often, these marriages can be saved. When they can’t, thoughtful planning helps ensure both parties can move on after a divorce.