When most people think about divorce, they probably picture a young couple. Most people don’t think about couples that have been together for multiple decades separating late in their lives. But, while the overall divorce rate has dropped in recent years, grey divorce is rising at an alarming rate. In fact, the grey divorce rate has skyrocketed to one in four people nationally. Furthermore, the data suggests this trend will continue to trend upward. Grey divorce is a term for the demographic trend of an increasing divorce rate between elderly couples from long-lasting marriages. “Grey” refers to grey hair, often had by older people.
Reasons For Increased Grey Divorces
- Social acceptance: Divorce has not always been socially acceptable and came with a stigma, keeping older couples together longer. This judgment has changed in recent years, allowing elderly people to leave unhealthy marriages.
- Average life expectancy: The average life expectancy has increased, which has influenced the divorce rate. People are now more likely to end an unhappy marriage in later life because they still have multiple decades to live.
- Shifting ideas of marriage: In decades past, for social acceptance, partners had to be legally and religiously married. Nowadays, that is just no longer the case.
- Women working: The majority of grey divorces are initiated by the wife thanks to the increased presence of women over 50 in the workplace.
- Online dating: People who are lonely or looking now have the world literally at their fingertips. The advent of online dating and even sites designed specifically for older singles has made finding new love easier at any age.
Divorcing later in life doesn’t always make it any less messy. Grey divorce can still affect adult children, even though they often have grown and left home. Older children have problems adapting to their parents’ dating life or the new family they choose to start. Grey divorce also has a significant impact on family finances.
Texas Grey Divorce Lawyers
Grey divorce no longer is an uncommon practice but instead represents a sizable shift in how unhappy relationships may resolve in contemporary society. If you or someone you care about is considering making a life change like this at an advanced age, please be sure to speak with an experienced family lawyer.