Gray divorce rates continue to rise

Older couples are more apt to divorce than younger ones.

The overall divorce rate in our country is around 50 percent. The rate fluctuates slightly year-over-year, but first-time marriages generally end about half of the time. For second, third and subsequent marriages, the rate is much higher, as about 70 percent of those couples split up.

In the past, couples who'd hit age 50 (who'd been married for 20 years or more) generally didn't divorce. As the saying goes, though, "the times, they are a changing." These days, the divorce rate for couples over 50 is twice as high as it was just a generation ago. The number is even higher for those over 65; those marriages are ending at a rate three times more than they did in 1990.

Reasons for increasing gray divorce

While there isn't a single reason why gray divorces are on the rise, a few factors are contributing, including:

  • A higher emphasis on self-satisfaction, growth, care and fulfillment - some would rather live out their later years single in lieu of staying in an unhappy marriage. This is often the case when one spouse has remained stagnant in their lives while the other has learned new skills, explored new interests or remained active.
  • Increased life span - people are living 20, 30 or more years after retirement age, so the thought of passing that time with someone from whom you've grown apart could be unbearable.
  • The "baby boomer" generation enjoys more economic stability than younger couples - corollary financial freedom allows for a divorce while still maintaining a standard of living comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage. In the past, fear of money woes may have kept couples unhappily married.

Are you thinking about divorce?

Careful thought must be given before a divorce, particularly if you have spent most of your life with your spouse. Divorce for an older couple is very complex, and can involve such issues as:

  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Complicated financial entanglements, including joint accounts, real estate, retirement funds, pensions, trusts, valuable collectibles and more
  • Alimony/spousal maintenance
  • Pre-purchased burial plots

Do you want more information about the divorce process, and what it would entail? Do you have questions about how best to proceed with a gray divorce? If so, you need to contact the Ogden law offices of Kristopher K. Greenwood and Associates. Our experienced divorce attorneys can evaluate your unique situation, advise you about next steps and will be by your side every step of the way through dissolving your long-term marriage. Call us today at 801-317-8968 or send us an email.