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Gray divorce can lead to health issues

Many Tennessee estranged couples know that divorce can be extremely stressful for people of all ages. However, research suggests that ending a marriage can be especially hard on people at or over the age of 50, causing a number of physical and psychological issues.

Divorce among older Americans has doubled over the last three decades, with people between the ages of 50 and 64 being the most likely to part ways. Experts say there are many reasons behind this phenomenon, including an increased life expectancy for U.S. adults, financial autonomy for women and society's changing expectations of marriage.

However, the trend of gray divorce seems to be having a negative health impact on many people who go through it. For example, researchers at Bowling Green University have found that later in life divorce can lead to elevated levels of depression, anxiety and stress. Meanwhile, psychological conditions are associated with a number of physical ailments, including heart disease, high blood pressure, insomnia, obesity, a weakened immune system, Type 2 diabetes and Parkinson's disease. Mental stress can also exacerbate existing medical conditions. In addition, studies show divorce can lead to isolation for older adults, especially for men. This is because splitting up can mark the end of shared social networks and lead to resentment from certain family members and friends. Unfortunately, isolation is also linked with many serious mental and physical health issues.

Since the end of a marriage can result in a great deal of stress, some people might want to have their family law attorney take the lead in negotiating a settlement agreement. This could reduce the chance of their making hasty decisions in order to get the process behind them.

Source: US News, "Divorcing After 50: How Gray Divorce Affects Your Health", Heidi Godman, Sept. 21, 2018

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