While divorce rates for younger generations have stabilized, it seems as though "later in life" divorces are becoming more common. Research shows that since 1990, the divorce rate for Americans over the age of 50 has doubled, and more than doubled for those over the age of 65. As the stigma surrounding divorce is removed, those that have been unhappy in their marriages are seeking to get out instead of adhering to the adage "until death do us part."
The Increased Numbers of Gray Divorce
Currently, nearly 25% of all American divorces involve individuals who are 50 years or older. One of the most significant statistics concerning gray divorce is also one of the most unexpected. Nearly 55% of all those divorcing over the age of 50 have been married for over 30 years. Many of these couples simply drifted apart from one another over the years and most often cite no-fault on divorce papers.
Researchers connect the increase in gray divorce to the increased financial independence of women in the workplace. As these women retire, they may realize that they do not have much in common with their spouse and spending twenty or more retirement years with that person is not appealing.
Concerns of Later in Life Divorce
However, older divorces also run the risk of pushing one of the spouses into poverty. Americans that are older and divorced have 30% less wealth than their married counterparts. Further, those that have been widowed have 50% more wealth than those that have been divorced.
Another risk that those over 50 face when divorcing is decreased social support and isolation. During a time when sickness can take an extreme toll, or when a person's general health is likely to decline, having a solid support network can make a huge difference.
This is not just an American phenomenon, but researchers worldwide have noticed an increase in gray divorces. This shows that a person should decide to do what is best for their happiness.
If you are seeking a divorce, contact Cutter & Lax. Our attorneys can explain each step of the process and make your divorce as easy as possible.