An empty nest divorce is simply one that happens after the children leave the home. This is an inevitability for most parents, as their children will eventually move into their own homes, get married, go to college or something else of this nature. It can be a very emotional time because it is such a significant change in the stages of life.
That being said, many couples simply go through the empty-nesters stage together and stay married. Why is it that this leads to divorce for some and not for others?
They may have drifted apart.
One potential issue that sometimes happens is that couples will drift apart while they are parenting. They only have the energy to focus on being parents, and they put their children first. They may not even realize that their own personal relationship is changing, because it happens slowly. But it becomes clear when the children are out of the house that the marriage is no longer what it once was.
They want to optimize the life they have left.
Another thing to consider is that many people are simply seeking whatever makes them the happiest in the time they have left in life. With increases in life expectancy over the generations, parents may still have decades after their children move out. They may have discovered that they were unhappy with the marriage while they were still together, but they decided to stay together to provide stability for the children. But after the children are no longer living in the home, they want to make their remaining years the best that they can.
Divorce is complicated, and there are often numerous factors in play. Those who are splitting up need to carefully look into all of their legal rights when dividing assets, even when child custody is no longer an issue.