The divorce rate is falling in the United States, as it has been doing for about two decades now. Most age groups follow this trend. While divorce rates of 50% or more were once predicted, things have largely reversed course over the years.
However, there is one age group that does not: Those who are 50 years old and older. These divorces, often called gray divorces, have been happening more often. This age group has the only rising divorce rate in the U.S., which is surprising to many.
The implications of this rise
This divorce rate is going to have a big impact on how these cases play out moving forward. For instance, those who are in this age group often have to consider things like:
- Retirement planning
- The division of substantial assets
- The impact on businesses they own
- Estate planning
- Long-term care planning
These are all issues that younger couples see far less often. In this sense, it’s easier to get divorced at a younger age. There is simply not as much to sort out and you and your spouse don’t lead lives that are so interconnected. By 50, when you may have been married for two decades or more, you have a lot of details to consider.
It’s also interesting to consider whether or not age pushes people toward divorce. For instance, some have speculated that longer life expectancies have actually contributed, as people live longer and have more time to drift apart. They also have more time to plan for after the kids leave home, so some of these couples could be those who wanted to get divorced as young parents and still decided to wait until the kids had grown up and moved out.
Are you considering a gray divorce?
If you fit into this demographic, you need to know that your divorce odds are rising. You must plan for this potential outcome. If you are considering a divorce already, it’s time to start considering your legal options and learning as much as you can about the steps you’ll need to take.