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"Gray Divorce" Rates On the Rise

People over the age of 50 are getting divorced at a rate like never before. Statistically, people in this age group are two times more likely to get divorced now than 20 years ago.

Divorce rates are on the rise for couples over the age of 50. In the 1990s, only about ten percent of spouses in this age group filed for divorce, whereas today, that percentage is up to about 25 percent. If you are in this situation and you have been married to your spouse for 20 or more years, you are not alone.

There are many theories out there attempting to explain this phenomenon, but four stand out as the most prevalent –

  1. Becoming an empty nester
  2. Longer lifespans of baby boomers
  3. A larger percentage of women who work full time
  4. Divorce for all age groups has become widely accepted

The first theory suggests that the risk of divorce increases for spouses whose children have grown up and left home. For many couples, when their children are grown and move out of the house, they realize that the only thing they had in common was their children.

Sociologists also point to the fact that baby boomers are living longer as a possible explanation for increasing gray divorce rates. For some couples, they reach the age of 50 and realize that they could be married to their spouse for another 10, 20, or even 30 or more years.

Many women have joined the workforce over the past two decades, which some suggest have made women more economically independent. Women who do not rely on their spouses for money may be more ready to seek divorce than unemployed women.

Finally, divorce may be more common among people over 50 simply because it is becoming more common overall. Divorce is more socially acceptable than perhaps it ever has been before, which could be contributing to the rising gray divorce numbers in our nation.

If you or your spouse has made the decision to divorce, The Buxner Law Firm is here for you. Divorce is a difficult decision, particularly for those who have been married for 20 or more years. Our compassionate St. Louis divorce attorneys are here to help guide you through the process to a successful resolution. Give us a call today at (314) 888-5235 to schedule a free, in-office consultation.