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Everyone dreams of finding that perfect someone to share their goals with, love, and grow old with. But when seniors getting a divorce becomes a thing, you start to have second thoughts about marriage. I mean, this is alarming news when you are single over 50.

Research gathered from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) point to a gradual decline in the number of marriages and a rise in divorces. Indeed, Jamaican statistics are only reflecting what is going on in the rest of the world.

“From my observation, less Jamaicans are choosing to get married now than in former times. This is in keeping with a global trend, however, as statistics show that fewer persons are choosing to get married,” marriage officer, Reverend Stevenson Samuels, recently told the Jamaica Observer.

Another statistic continues to surprise: the number of ‘grey divorces’ (divorces in seniors) is also rising, with fewer older people feeling like they have to ‘grin and bear’ an unhappy marriage.

Divorce is Freedom, Independence – and Stressful

Although seniors getting a divorce are attracted by the thought of newfound freedom and of meeting someone they have more in common with, the divorce process itself is extremely difficult.

The effort is so trying that divorce ranks second in the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory [only losing a spouse through death is more stressful].

Two older ladies sitting outside eatery having a glass of wine
Seniors getting a divorce often are lost without their significant other especially if they were dependent on that person. Photo by Jez Timms

The reasons seniors getting a divorce are evident. On the other hand, it can be scary to think of facing one’s winter years without the person one originally envisioned would be a life companion.

Moreover, ending a relationship can be stressful when one person does not want it to end. Thus, blaming, shaming, and other behaviors can be hurtful, as can focusing on past regrets and mistakes.

The Financial Consequences of Seniors Getting a Divorce

Separation and divorce can also put a big dent in one’s finances. Thus, issues such as who will keep the family home or what happens to inheritances and other assets gained during the marriage can give rise to tricky legal situations.

In Jamaica, the recent case of  Eutetra Bromfield v Vincent Bromfield saw the Privy Council give strong guidance to Jamaican courts. This case was regarding how to adjudicate property entitlements to husbands and wives during a divorce case.

In essence, courts have ample discretion to redistribute property as they deem fit. It is “difficult and ultimately arid” for courts to embark upon intense investigations into the extent to which each party alleges by word of mouth. Courts should also exercise this freedom when documents presented are incomplete.

Seniors Getting a Divorce Reduce Financial Stress

As seniors getting a divorce should aim to reduce financial stress to the greatest degree possible, counselors suggest taking the amicable route.

Divorce help comes in the form of counselors and life coaches. They can be particularly useful when it comes to enabling spouses to focus on building a life after divorce.

If not that, at least agree to work together during the divorce. This is especially helpful in rare cases involving children. Often these days, grandparents are raising their children.

Meanwhile, to reduce financial stress of seniors getting a divorce, reliance on lawyers that favor settlement over disputes can reduce defensiveness.

This can also build a more open environment. The wishes of each party receive due respect and honor to the greatest degree possible.

Seniors Getting a Divorce Work on Emotional Stress

It’s not enough to have your paperwork in order. It is vital to comprehend the link between stress and conditions like anxiety and depression. Being stressed out will likely interfere with one’s sleep.

Medical professionals link sleep deprivation to a host of illnesses, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and even an early demise.

White older male white hair sitting alone
Men react differently to divorce than women. Photo by Thomas Summer

Because the strain during a divorce is almost impossible to escape, separating couples should approach it proactively. Men react to divorce differently than women. In light of this, experts encourage divorced men over 50 to take part in activities proven to reduce stress.

Studies show some of the most natural stress busters for seniors getting a divorce to include yoga, meditation, and journaling as effective mindful pursuits. Spending time in nature is another way to bring down levels of the stress hormone cortisol while enjoying one’s time ‘in the here and now’.

If you are part of the seniors getting a divorce statistics, make sure you take care of your financial and legal situation by taking advice from a reputable lawyer. Your health should also be a matter of concern.

How to get over a divorce? Ensure you consume a sound diet, get a good night’s sleep, and adopt at least one calming activity to bring you solace. Recognize and accept difficult emotions without allowing them to bring you under.

There’s something sad about seniors getting a divorce.  However, it’s possible to come out the relationship a better, stronger person from the split. The best way to do so is to choose the road of peace.

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