Is It OK to Divorce at 40?

Marriage counselors opine that, unless absolutely necessary, it may not be okay to divorce at 40 because:

Is It OK to Divorce at 40?
  1. Life can become difficult for the young children
  2. Asset division can cause financial distress
  3. It’ll be like starting life all over again
  4. Alimony payments can dent finances
  5. Divorce can cause emotional turmoil
  6. Friends and family members can get alienated

Life can be like a complex and exciting rollercoaster ride for spouses near 40 years of age, especially with young children around. Both spouses need to balance their focus on careers with life goals, and reconcile it with the family’s needs, especially the kids’ needs. At the same time, the spouses may sense that they are getting older and that staying in shape takes some effort. When divorce is thrown into this mix, the consequences can be chaotic – unless, of course, the divorce is necessitated, as in a toxic kind of marriage.

However, if the marriage is not toxic, or if divorce is avoidable, and one spouse decides to divorce at 40, he/she must think through the following consequences:

Distress to Children

The children’s lives after the divorce can get shattered and the divorce can adversely affect their physical, emotional, and academic well-being. This is especially so for children of parents around 40, as the children would probably be in a tender and vulnerable age range. They will have to adjust to a new home, shuttle between parents, be away from friends for a part of the week (depending on the type of custody granted), watch their parents fight with each other, which may get ugly, engage in legal formalities, and more. It can inject chaos into their tender, growing years and impact their future.

Asset Division

Property needs to be divided in a divorce and the division can result in a mess. Merged bank accounts, 401k plans, cars, and home/s may be divided. Even before the division, the divorce attorneys on both sides need to itemize community and separate property before recommending a division that seems fair to their respective clients.

Property division is usually a sad event because the spouses have invested in the property together during the marriage. Seeing it divided and split so clinically and mechanically can be difficult to endure.

Starting Life All Over Again

A divorce may seem liberating, but starting life all over again when you are around 40 can be a daunting task. Though not impossible, it can be very difficult to find a new partner who is compatible – while adjusting to a new normal, dealing with rejection, co-parenting kids, controlling anxiety, managing the stress on finances, focusing on a career, perhaps shifting to a new home, and more.

Make no mistake – rebuilding life after a divorce can be difficult especially if you are around 40.

Post-Divorce Financial Dents

Divorce can be expensive. You have to pay the divorce attorney’s fees, court costs, child support, alimony, and live with half, or less, of the assets you owned during the marriage. You can also lose out on the tax advantages you enjoyed during the marriage.

Emotional Distress

A person at 40 is mostly a mature person. When nostalgic feelings hit a divorced person time and again, they can trigger sadness and maybe even depression. Marriage counselors opine that hormonal imbalance coupled with inadequate sleep in divorced spouses can cause extreme mood swings.

Then, there is loneliness, which can reach unbearable levels. Going back to an empty home, reveling in self-blame, or not talking about issues can make a spouse fall apart.

Alienated Friends and Family

The impact of divorce extends beyond hurting your children and ex-spouse. It can even impact your coworkers, family members, and friends. These people are likely to take sides and if they feel and say that you were to blame, it could fracture your relationship with them. When friends walk away and other family members do not approve of your divorce, a hard-to-thaw chill develops over your relations with them, which can add further to your loneliness.

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About the Author: Marco Brown
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Marco C. Brown was named Utah’s Outstanding Family Law Lawyer of the Year in 2015. He graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2007 and is currently the managing partner of Brown Family Law, LLC.
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