Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C.

'Gray' divorce numbers still rising

Late-in-life divorce numbers are still rising. These "gray" divorces are now quite common. In fact, last year, the number of people who were 50 years old and older were two times more likely to get a divorce than they were in 1990. For those that were 65 years old, the likelihood was even higher.

So how do these gray divorces compare to other age groups? Divorce rates among other age groups have dropped or plateaued. There are several ideas about the difference in the divorce rate. According to one sociology professor at Seattle's University of Washington, the life expectancy is higher now than what it was. That means couples could be together another 30 years and if their marriage isn't loving or satisfying, they don't want to stay together.

However, it's likely that the biggest reason for the rise in late-life divorces is that a women's role has changed and women are the ones that are normally taking the decisive step to divorce.

Children are usually grown and have their own lives, so parents don't have to remain together simply for the kids. Although there is still a difference in economic roles in a marriage, many women are feeling safer when it comes to leaving their still-working or soon-retiring husbands. However, that's not to say it's not frightening to leave a financially secure marriage and strike out on their own once again. One woman who is divorced and 58 years old said, "I had to take this giant leap of faith and believe somehow that I would be OK when I came through it all. It was a very, very frightening experience."

If you are considering filing for divorce, it's highly advised that you speak with an experienced family law attorney. This will help you understand your legal options and what lies ahead.

Source: The Dallas Morning News, "After spending lives together, more older couples are divorcing," Dec. 04, 2015

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