At one time, seeing an older married couple gave younger people hope that marriage could last forever. Fortunately, divorce is not on the table for many long-married couples. However, the divorce rate for older Americans is currently higher than it was in the past.
According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the U.S. divorce rate doubled from 1990 through 2010 for those older than 50, and the rate has stayed steady since then. So why do long-married couples get divorced?
It comes down to money and quality of life
A leading reason for the rise in gray divorces centers on financial matters, but not necessarily a lack of money. Research indicates that many couples disagree about how to manage, spend and save money. Unfortunately, some of these disagreements end in divorce. Other top reasons for gray divorce include:
An empty nest: After the kids move away from home, many older couples realize that they have little else in common and are living separate lives. A logical step for these couples is getting a divorce.
Poor communication: In addition to not communicating at all, the types of communication between older spouses may play a role in divorce. For example, if one spouse communicates only contempt to the other spouse, the marriage may fail.
Adultery issues: When infidelity occurs in older married couples, it leads to divorce more often than in past eras. Often the other spouse no longer feels they must live with adultery.
While it may seem like the increase in divorce among older couples is a negative occurrence, there are some positive aspects. For example, social pressures and tradition need no longer keep you confined in an unhappy marriage. If you’re considering divorce or your spouse has told you they want one, it’s crucial to increase your knowledge of California divorce laws.