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Why is gray divorce on the rise?

On Behalf of | Sep 17, 2020 | Family Law |

You have likely heard that gray divorce is on the rise. This means that more people around the age of 50 and above are getting divorced. These are individuals who are typically unconcerned with family dynamics, as they do not have young children, and more concerned with financial issues.

What you may be wondering, though, is why we have seen this change. Why is it that divorce is rising for this age group when it has been falling for others? Let’s consider a few of the potential reasons.

Financial independence

First of all, marriage was a means of financial success for previous generations, especially for women who felt they had no place in the workforce. With limited work options, getting married seemed like the only way to be financially stable.

That’s no longer true in the modern workforce. With both people now experiencing more financial independence, divorce has become an option. No one needs to feel like they can’t exit an unhappy marriage for financial reasons alone.

Changing opinions

One major reason that people did not get divorced in previous generations was that the general opinion of divorce was so negative. People worried about what their friends, family members and co-workers would say. That’s also different in 2020. Divorce is much more normalized than it used to be, so people who may have wanted to divorce for years may only now decide to do it.

Longer, healthier lives

Modern medicine has enabled people to live longer and be healthier while they do it. This makes those “sunset years” a lot longer than they were in the past. Some people get divorced because they want to enjoy those years in a different way than their spouse.

For instance, someone may want to end their career and visit foreign countries they have never seen before. Their spouse may simply want to keep running their small business, with no plans to retire at all. This massive difference in opinion could lead to divorce as both decide to go their own ways and follow their own goals.

Your options

You may decide that none of these reasons really apply to you, and that’s fine. Everyone has their own lives with their own unique factors to consider. What is important is just to know that gray divorce is more common than it was before, that it comes with its own complexities and that you must understand your legal options.

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