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Gray divorce remains on the rise

It is becoming increasingly common for people to get divorced after having been married for 20 or more years. Getting a divorce later in life in Illinois is known as going through a gray divorce. In fact, a quarter of divorces in 2010 were gray divorces, meaning divorces involving people 50 years old or older.

One of the main reasons cited for gray divorces is that older couples simply grow apart. There is usually not a sudden trigger or event leading to a gray divorce, but, rather, it usually happens slowly over a period of time. Often, the woman feels as though she has given up too much during the marriage, such as by staying at home and putting her career side to raise the kids. Divorce gives her the opportunity to finally live life on her own terms.

Other factors that may contribute to gray divorce are the ages of the married parties. A huge age difference may not have been a major issue at the start of a relationship. However, it may become an issue years later, as people who have become middle-aged crave new beginnings.

Getting divorced can be challenging at any age, both emotionally and financially, for Illinois residents. However, if two people are able to negotiate or mediate their divorce, with proper legal guidance, rather than litigating it, this may make the process easier for the pair. An applied understanding of the law may help both parties to pursue their best interests while considering the needs of the other party.

Source:, "Why Couples Divorce After Decades of Marriage", Linda Melone, March 8, 2016

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