For many decades, it was for older adults to stay married until death do they part. Over time, divorce has become less taboo, and more people have turned to divorce at an older age.
The gray divorce revolution is a reference to the rising number of middle-aged and older adults who have turned to divorce instead of remaining with their spouse in later adulthood. While divorce rates have been declining overall, those 50 years of age and older have seen divorce rates in later life skyrocket. The rate of divorce has doubled for those over 50 and tripled for those over 65.
The gray divorce revolution is a reflection of changes in society
The gray divorce revolution is a direct reflection of the changes in today’s society. Changes like women being breadwinners and holding long-lasting careers, a positive change in the perception of working later in life and changes in how divorce is perceived on the whole has made it much easier for older couples to separate at a later age today.
Second marriages play a role in the gray divorce revolution
Interestingly, second marriages do play a role in the gray divorce revolution. Couples who get remarried are up to 2.5 times more likely to go through another divorce than couples who are just in their first marriage. It’s also known that shorter marriages later in life are more likely to result in a gray divorce. Even when people have been together a long time, a gray divorce is still a higher risk than it used to be.
When is a gray divorce most likely?
Divorce is more common during major life changes. For example, divorces are more likely during the first year or two of “empty nest” syndrome. It can also be more common upon retirement as the retiree tries to adjust to not having to work and needing to fill that time in other ways.
It’s also common for divorces to happen when both parties are unhappy with the quality of their marriage, which may include how much time a couples spends together in their free time.
There is nothing to be ashamed of if you feel the need to divorce your spouse at a later age. This can be a complex divorce, however, so it’s wise to talk to an attorney about the steps to take to protect your best interests.