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Reasons for the rise in gray divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2024 | Divorce

In recent years, gray divorce has been trending upward and been occurring more often. Generally speaking, a gray divorce is one where the individuals are 50 years old and older. The divorce rate for younger age groups is going down, in contrast with the rate for gray divorce.

It’s important for people in this age bracket to understand why this is happening. A divorce at this age can be very complicated, especially when looking at things like retirement accounts and other assets. So why is this one age group getting divorced more often when everyone else seems to be getting divorced less?

Empty nest syndrome

There are many potential reasons, one being that children move out of the house and the parents become empty nesters. These parents may find that their marital relationship isn’t the same as it was before they had children, but they didn’t realize they were drifting apart until they became empty nesters.

Medical complications

There is some evidence that divorce odds go up after a serious medical diagnosis. As people grow older, the odds of developing a serious medical condition such as Alzheimer’s disease or cancer  also increase. This simply means that it’s more likely for those who are 50 and older to end their marriages for this reason.

Disagreements about the future

Finally, many couples consider how they want to spend the last 20 or 30 years of their life. Couples may find that they disagree with each other on how to spend this time. Maybe one wants to retire and relax, while the other wants to work or travel.

As noted above, getting divorced at this age can be complex. If you do find yourself in this position, be sure you know what legal options you have.

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