It is true that the overall divorce rate is going down, but this is not the case across all age groups. There is one group of adults who are actually experiencing skyrocketing divorce rates — men and women older than 50. This is frequently referred to as gray divorce. Compared with couples who are divorcing earlier in life, the reasons for divorcing later on are usually different.
So just how frequently are people in this age group calling it quits? Between 1990 and 2010, the divorce rate for adults at least 50 years old actually doubled. While no two divorces are alike, a lot of people are ending things at this age because they are simply tired of being unhappy.
There was plenty of societal stigma around divorce not all that long ago. Couples who were struggling through difficult marriages often felt like they did not have any other choice but to keep going. Now that divorce is a lot less stigmatized, this generation has the option to pursue a happier life. When a person realizes that he or she still has another good 20 to 30 years of life to live and enjoy, getting divorced can make a lot of sense.
Although couples of every age will need to address things like property division and spousal support, the implications of divorce can be a lot different depending on age. In a gray divorce, each spouse has to think about what they really want out of retirement. Whether over a decade or only a few short years away, decisions made during divorce can drastically impact that future, so it might be helpful to seek experienced guidance early on in the process.