Divorces didn’t used to be as common as they are today. They might have been seen as a failure or as something that signals that someone did something wrong. Today, people realize that a divorce might happen just because two people grow apart. It might be necessary because they no longer get along or just because they choose to live on their own.
For older individuals, the idea of divorce might still be uncomfortable, but the truth is that gray divorce is becoming more common. The number of divorces for people over the age of 50 has been growing even while the overall divorce rate has been in decline. Part of the reason for the change in statistics is that many younger individuals are skipping marriage or waiting longer to get married. That means that those who choose to get married now may be more likely to stay together.
On the other hand, older couples are seeing that divorcees are not shunned or looked down upon in the same way that they might have been decades ago. Today, divorce has been relatively normalized, making it much easier for couples, even if they’re older, to separate.
What causes divorce in later life?
The factors playing a role in divorce later in life are much like those earlier in life. Statistics show that it’s wealthier couples who tend to have a higher probability of staying together, and those who have $250,000 of assets or more are 38% less likely to divorce than those with $50,000 in assets or less. Financial stability is a significant factor in marriages that work or don’t.
Infidelity is another hot-button issue. Sexual needs change over time for men and women (often at different rates). When people can’t get what they need at home, they may look elsewhere. Cheating and adultery are often significant factors in divorce at any age.
Finally, there’s retirement. Could you imagine spending your golden years with someone who isn’t interested in doing what you want to do? Some people find that they no longer have anything in common with their spouses or that they want to do more or less than their spouse wants to do. A mismatch in retirement can quickly lead to a troubled marriage.
Age alone isn’t enough to protect you against divorcing. These are just three of the reasons that older individuals may face divorce. If you think that you may want to divorce, you should look into your legal options.