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Breaking the news of your divorce later in life

Choosing to divorce over the age of fifty is a tremendously difficult decision to make. But what’s even more difficult comes after you’ve made up your mind.

Even before the business of asset division and retirement planning, you’ll need to break the news of your decision to everyone. Here are a few tips to help you make it through this daunting task.

Adult children

Your adult children no longer rely on you like they used to — and that may be part of the reason you’ve decided to go through with a divorce. Even if it is, don’t leave your children with that guilt.

Though they may be grown, it’s still important to address this issue with sensitivity. Plan to announce the decision to divorce in a private setting while the other parent is present. If possible, work with your ex-spouse to prepare for this conversation. Avoid placing blame on anyone or giving too many personal details as to why the marriage is ending.

Your adult children may have difficulty processing this news. Accept that they may need time and keep the door open to discuss how this event may be causing them to feel.


If your children have children, tell your adult children your news beforehand and separately. During this discussion, ask your children how they’d like to tell their children. It may be best for grandchildren to hear this news from their own parents first. If this happens, make sure you and your ex-spouse discuss the news with your grandchildren the next time you see them.

While explaining your divorce to grandchildren, it’s important to emphasize what may change and what will stay the same in their lives. For example, you may say that you and your ex-spouse will still celebrate special events like birthdays and holidays with them. However, you may also explain that you and your ex-spouse will no longer live together when they come to visit.

Religious institutions

If you and your ex-spouse have regularly attended a church together, you may not be sure whether the two of you can continue this attendance.

Though you may choose to keep the news private, your church leader and community should be supportive of your decision if you choose to share it. If they are not, you may consider relocating or seeking comfort from another type of support group.

Additionally, if the presence of extended family or your ex-spouse will prevent you from healing within your church, it may be best to go your separate ways.

Make your decision easier

There aren’t many ways to make this decision easier. But, there is one sure way to decrease your stress. A Family Law attorney with experience in gray divorce can help ensure that you are taking all the right legal steps while you work through these emotional ones.

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