Divorce rates overall for Americans are lower than they were five years ago. However, the number of people over the age of 50 who are splitting up is on the rise. This is referenced as Gray Divorce, which is a term referring to the demographic trend of an increasing divorce rate for older (“Gray-haired”) couples in long-lasting marriages.
Divorce can be a traumatic event at any age, but these “Gray divorces” can take a significant financial toll, especially for women. In some cases, married women may have been out of the workforce, and even if they do work, statistically women earn less than men. Additionally, women usually live longer than men, which can mean they need to have enough money to support themselves for a longer span of time.
Some factors that may play into an increase in divorces for couples that have been together for 30, 40 or even 50 years are generational. The “gray” generation statistically got married younger, had children early on and did not cohabitate before being married. This is opposed to current trends where couples now commonly live together beforehand, get married later in life and wait longer to have children.
Society rightfully puts a value on personal happiness and fulfillment and not just for those still lacking experience. Individuals 50 and older are just as devoted to living happy fulfilling lives as their younger counterparts. People are living quite a few years longer and those extra years can be playing a role in the reason more long-term marriages may end in divorce.
By nature, humans change with time and can grow apart. It may be a cliché but what someone wants out of life when they married at 25 may be different by the time they are 55. They may feel they have become strangers or roommates who have little in common, more so when they are empty nesters but the desire to feel an emotional bond with a life partner has motivated many to divorce their spouse later in life.
If you have any questions regarding Gray Divorce, please contact Petroni Law Group today.
Check out Gloria Petroni’s podcast episode on Gray Divorce.