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It is often assumed that people who have been married for decades will remain that way forever. What many people don’t realize is that gray divorce is fairly common, but not because these individuals suddenly decide they aren’t compatible. Oftentimes, the marriage has been dissolving for a while and they finally made the decision to end it.

Just like divorce that involves younger couples, finances are one of the primary causes of gray divorce. Having to struggle to make ends meet and having a high debt load can contribute to the stress that leads to a divorce. Disagreements over how to handle money can also be harbingers of divorce.

Some couples find that they’ve just grown apart. If they had children at home, they may have been so focused on them that they didn’t realize that they weren’t as close as they used to be or that they don’t have shared interests. This makes it seem like they’re divorcing because the kids are grown, but it’s a case where the issues were present for a while before they were recognized.

Infidelity is another factor for gray divorce. This is attributed, in part, to changes in sex drive and attraction factors. In some cases, the affair doesn’t actually happen, but the realization that they want to find someone new will lead to divorce.

While there are many reasons for a gray divorce, one factor pulls them all together – people going through this need to ensure that they are protecting their interests. Often, these divorces include the division of retirement plans and other significant assets. Because there isn’t much, if any, time for financial recovery, you must think about how the settlement will impact your future.