According to statistics, spouses aged 50 and over seem to be divorcing at a higher rate than other age groups. Married people in this age category are the most likely to call it quits, but the reason can be mysterious for certain people.
Many components contribute to this “gray divorce” trend. Understanding the why behind the increasing gray divorces may help people navigate this stage of life with more confidence.
1. People are living longer
With life expectancies increasing well past retirement age, many people do not want to stay in unhappy or unfulfilling marriages. People realize they have considerable time to do things they want and may feel that their spouses no longer fit into their plans.
2. Older couples have the necessary financial resources
People in long-term marriages tend to have more economic stability than younger married couples. This financial security gives them more freedom to divorce without the fear of resulting monetary problems.
3. The stigma of divorce no longer exists
Today, there is considerably less shame surrounding a marital split. This change in societal attitudes gives spouses more emotional freedom to leave unhappy or unsafe situations.
4. More women have successful careers
Women with a solid financial standing can support themselves and may choose to be alone rather than stay in an undesirable marriage. Women today feel more confident about their ability to start over, even after a long marriage.
5. Children are no longer at home
Years spent focusing on raising children can also affect the quality of a marriage. Many people stay together for their young children and no longer feel this is necessary once they leave home. Older couples may realize they no longer share similar interests.
The national divorce rate is decreasing, but gray divorce rates continue to increase. People in this age group face unique challenges during a divorce and benefit from preparedness based on a thorough knowledge of their rights and the legal process.