Recently, the divorce rate is going up for adults aged 50 and older in the U.S. For everyone who is younger than them, the divorce rate is going down.
What is it about aging that seems to be increasingly leading to divorce? There are a number of different things to consider, which could be influencing this trend.
An empty nest
Older adulthood is a time in life when big changes may happen for any couple that has spent the last few decades raising children. The children will move out, get married, go to college and/or get a job. When the parents become empty-nesters, their personal relationship may not be the same as it was before they had children. Sometimes, parenting is a distraction from serious issues in a marriage.
In some ways, life expectancy itself is tied to this change. People still feel like they have a lot of life left to experience, even as they grow older, and they want the freedom to do that. Some people feel that their marriage is holding them back or they just want something else out of this next chapter in their life.
The basic stigma surrounding divorce is much different now than it was 50 years ago. Divorce is much more acceptable in most circles, and so there are people who may not have felt comfortable getting divorced before. Today, public perception has shifted, so they can finally get the divorce they may have wanted for some time.
Of course, when a marriage lasts for a long time, there’s always a chance that a couple will just drift apart. It may not even be that something has gone wrong. They are just different people than they were when they got married in their 20s or 30s. They no longer feel compatible.
These are just a few potential reasons why the divorce rate is increasing over time. Those who are interested in pursuing “gray” divorce can often benefit from seeking legal guidance, as there are some unique considerations that tend to affect the divorce process this late in life.