Married couples end their marriages for various reasons and in different stages of their lives. Couples married for several years find out that they have little in common. Cheating spouses can break once-strong bonds due to infidelity. Recent empty nesters discover that their children are the only thing holding their partnership together.
Divorce rates have undergone a quantum shift when it comes to the average ages of those filing for divorce. Specifically, people over 50 continue to rise in the shadow of a divorce rate in decline. Decades-long unions are suddenly shuttered to pursue new lives.
A growing demographic
Business Insider cites gray divorces making up 10 out of 1,000 couples who are 50 and older, a 100 percent increase going back to 1990. For couples over 65, the growth in dissolutions is even higher, tripling over the past 25 years. What was once considered scandalous is now trending.
While divorce is a personal decision, the legal process is complex. Countless fifty and sixty-somethings who have built up significant assets over time can make the process even more difficult. A once-happily married couple may enjoy a highly valuable financial portfolio by purchasing property or launching a successful business. Retirement assets from a working spouse meant for a pair’s “golden years” are suddenly an asset that could be cut in half.
Even though they are adults like their parents, children of divorcing couples can have difficulties processing the traumatic change. While more “mature,” they can experience the same level of emotional grief as much younger offspring can.
Whether a couple is married for five years or fifty-five, divorce represents a life-changing decision, no matter how long the rest of their lives last.