According to some estimates, divorce among adults older than 50 has more than doubled in the United States over the past decade. What factors contribute to the significant increase in so-called gray divorces?
Review the common causes of gray divorce to learn more about why this rise occurred.
While it may seem strange for two people to grow apart after decades of marriage, this scenario is common among couples who spend years raising children together. When those children become independent adults, the marriage does not survive because the pair has little in common. Often, this occurs around age 50 as kids graduate high school, attend college or find their own homes.
As many individuals realize they are unhappy in an incompatible marriage, they also consider the possibility of a new relationship. The ready availability of connection through online dating apps may convince some long-married adults to see if the grass is greener on the single side.
Many older adults experience sex drive changes that can challenge a marriage. When one partner has a low libido, whether because of aging or an underlying medical condition, he or she may feel embarrassed about seeking medical help. When this happens, the marriage loses its intimacy, which may lead to divorce in the retirement years.
More women in their 50s and beyond are financially independent than ever before. They may be less hesitant to file for divorce than generations past since they will not have to rely on their former partners for alimony.
Regardless of the reasons, seniors have special considerations when it comes to divorce. Couples must fairly divide assets to ensure they can both remain self-sufficient in retirement.