The announcement that Al and Tipper Gore will be divorcing after 40 years of marriage shocked those who knew the couple in Washington as well as those around the country. It also has many wondering about the instances of “gray divorce” or “silver divorce” – marriages that split after many decades of seeming success.

According to the most recent census, about four percent of divorces are between couples that have been wed for more than four decades and one in four divorces occur between couples that have been married for more than two decades. Part of the issue might be that many couples divorcing now after 40 years were married in the 1970s – a generation that has a remarkably low success rate when it comes to marriage. Others note that with life spans becoming longer and longer, it is simply more difficult to stick with a partner for multiple decades without growing apart or running into irreconcilable differences. 
Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington
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