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Why are gray divorces becoming common?

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2021 | Divorce

The assumption that only younger couples file for divorce is not true. Many people over the age of 50 file for divorce, and the rate for older persons continues to climb. “Gray divorce” has become something of a curious phenomenon, leading many to wonder why it happens. No single factor provides the reason for the dramatic increase in divorce rates of people over 50. Instead, several reasons drive the high divorce numbers.

Gray divorces and the reasons for the proceedings

The problems that cause friction in a marriage might not only appear after three decades together. Troubles may date back to the early days of the marriage, but the spouses might remain together based on an older concept of remaining in the marriage for life. In time, one or both spouses could conclude the marriage ended long ago and file for divorce.

Ultimately, older persons may accept cultural and social changes that make them more open to ending a troubled marriage. The “personal fulfillment” aspect of modern society might lead some to put their happiness ahead of dealing with a disastrous marriage.

And then there is the age-old issue of “empty nest syndrome.” When children stay in the home, the young ones hold the family together. One spouse may drift apart from the other while building a close bond with the children. When the children move out, the empty relationship between the spouses may worsen. A divorce could soon follow.

Divorce becomes unavoidable

As years pass, spouses might find they have less in common since people may change. Two people who once shared the same political beliefs might now possess radically different opinions. The differences could be strong enough to result in divorce.

Financial differences might also drive a wedge between married couples. Older persons often worry about their retirement years and available savings. Not everyone takes retirement savings seriously, and when one partner does and the other doesn’t, troubles may arise.