Sociologists have coined the term “gray divorce” to describe the increase in marriages that end after several decades. In a 2017 report from the Pew Research Center, scientists found that the rate of divorce among couples older than 50 had increased by more than 100% since the 1990s.
Review the common reasons for gray divorce if you are considering a separation as you approach your retirement years.
Many members of the older generation remember a time when society frowned upon divorce. In fact, the Catholic Church has even examined its stance on divorce in recent years. As these old ideas fall away, seniors can more easily envision a happy, single life rather than remain in an unhappy marriage.
Longer expected lifespan
As we expect to live up to three decades longer than our ancestors, you and your spouse may have differing ideas about how to spend your golden years. If you have raised children together and enter your 50s healthy and vital, growing apart becomes common as you seek new interests and even experience diverging values.
High rate of remarriage
Many people in this age group have entered a second, third or subsequent marriage. These individuals have a divorce rate of about 250% the rate for first marriages according to Psychology Today.
If you decide to divorce after decades of marriage, you may have special financial considerations. For example, you may share real estate, have years of retirement savings or even own a business together. Planning for these issues can help you prepare for the challenges associated with gray divorce.