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Gray divorce is costly and increasingly commonplace

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2024 | Family Law

Marriage is generally intended to be a lifelong commitment that two people make to one another. However, data shows that many couples eventually end up getting divorced. In the past, divorce rates were higher among younger couples, but nowadays, a growing number of couples over 50 are also getting divorced. This trend is known as Gray Divorce.

Divorcing after 50 can drastically impact a person’s financial security, especially if they are a woman. On average, women who divorce after the age of 50 experience a 45% decrease in their quality of living, while men who divorce after the age of 50 experience a 21% decrease. Women who have gone through a divorce later in life are also more likely to face poverty. The poverty rate for women over 63 who divorced after the age of 50 was almost 27%, while it was just over 11% for men.

Why is gray divorce on the rise?

The divorce rate for people aged 50 and above has doubled since the early 1990s. Experts predict that this rate will quadruple by 2030. This raises the question: Why are Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers divorcing after being married for twenty or more years? Several factors can contribute to the demise of a marriage, some of which include:

  • Money problems. Marriage issues may arise if one partner is a spender and the other is a saver.
  • One or both spouses may become dissatisfied with marriage over time to the point that they’d rather be single.
  • Empty nest syndrome. One or both spouses may have been waiting for their children.
  • Addiction to drugs or alcohol. If one partner’s drug or alcohol abuse has harmed the marriage, the other spouse might feel they’ve had enough.
  • One spouse chooses to stop being the target of the other’s verbal or physical abuse.

Regardless of the reasons that you may potentially be thinking about leaving your longtime spouse, you shouldn’t try to handle a gray divorce alone. To be sure you’ve covered all of your bases, seek personalized legal guidance as soon as you can.