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Contemplating divorce after 50? You’re not alone

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2021 | Family Law

You may have heard that divorce rates in the United States are on the decline. However, that isn’t a totally accurate statement.

It’s true that divorce rates in some demographics are dropping – but not for those couples with some silver in their hair. Divorce rates among couples in their 50s and older have doubled since 1990, and they are expected to triple by 2030.

What’s causing all these “gray” divorces?

If you’re over 50 and contemplating divorce, it may help to know that you’re not alone. Nor is the rise of the gray divorce something unique to the U.S. Canada, Japan, Australia, India, the United Kingdom and much of Europe are experiencing the same trend.

Why is it happening? It really comes to down to a combination of factors. For example:

  • Life expectancies are increasing, which means that couples have more time to drift apart as they age – and more time to contemplate their future. Those in marriages that have long been unhappy are simply getting out.
  • The 1960s and 1970s both started cultural shifts that changed marriage from something that was seen as practical to something that was about emotional fulfillment.
  • Women in many countries no longer need to be married to have social and financial stability. As women increasingly have their own careers, they feel less need to remain in tepid or unhappy marriages.
  • The social stigma of divorce has virtually disappeared. Almost everyone knows someone who is already divorced, so it’s easier to make that decision.

Gray divorces have some unique challenges. While couples generally don’t have to worry about child support and custody issues, they often have deep financial ties and more assets than their younger counterparts. That can make ending a marriage more complicated. If you’re thinking about divorce after a long marriage, make sure that you fully understand your rights before you act.