Divorce Rate for Couples over 50 Doubles in Two Decades

Posted on Mar 31, 2013

Yet another study has shown that so-called “grey divorce”—divorce after the age of 50—is steadily increasing. According to research and data collection by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, the number of couples ending their marriage after the age of 50 has doubled in the last two decades. 

The lead author of the study, sociology professor Susan Brown, said that while the rate of divorce among the younger generation has leveled off at a comparably low rate, the rate of divorce for Baby Boomers has grown quickly. In 1990, only about ten percent of all divorces involved couples over the age of 50. In 2010, 25 percent of divorces involved older couples. 

Why are so many senior couples seeking divorce after decades of marriage? Many relationship experts believe that there are a number of different reasons: couples have finished raising their children, more women have careers and are financially secure, people are living longer, healthier lives, and divorce has become more acceptable among Baby Boomers. In addition, some believe that fewer couples are following their churches’ policies on divorce and that divorce has become more acceptable in other churches. 

Researchers add that the divorce rate is even higher among those who divorce and remarry—and many of these couples may be over 50 by the time their second marriage ends. 

Brown noted that grey divorce will come with many unique issues: more seniors may have financial issues as they age, and many will need caregivers as their health declines. On the other hand, many older Americans now say they have a second chance at being happy after a late-life divorce.  

If you need help with your divorce, contact the Law Office of Molly B. Kenny today: 425-460-0550.

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