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More than half of grey divorces end marriages of 20+ years

There is no question that at times marriage can be difficult. Some may assume that after being married a certain amount of time, that things will get easier. As recent divorce statistics indicate, this is not always the case.

In the last 24 years, the rate of divorce for individuals in the United States, who are over the age of 50, has doubled. For individuals over the age of 65, that rate has more than doubled. Twenty-five percent of the divorcing population is at least 50 years old. Ten percent is at least 65 years old.

Referred to as grey divorce, this movement is particularly interesting to researchers since over 50 percent of the marriages that come to an end that involve individuals in this age group, are first marriages. What’s more, over half of those marriages are more than 20 years old.

While there are likely many reasons for the increase in individuals seeking late in life divorces, at least one of them likely has to do with money. Unlike past generations where women were expected to stay home while the man worked, now women are more likely to have achieved financial independence which makes it possible for them to seek a divorce.

Another reason could be a rise in expectations concerning what a successful marriage looks like. Today, many expect their spouse to be the source of happiness and a best friend. If they are not satisfied with how that role is being played, they are now more inclined to move on and look for something else.

While the divorce process is the same regardless of how old the divorcing couple is, there are often different priorities for older individuals. For example, though young children are no longer a part of the mix, financial matters pertaining to retirement are more important.

Regardless of the age of a divorcing couple most individuals want to start the next part of their life in a good position emotionally as well as financially. Accordingly, many seek the assistance of a divorce lawyer.

Source: The Washington Post, “Till Death Do Us Part? No way. Gray Divorce on the Rise,” Brigid Schulte, Oct. 8, 2014

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