Here’s an assumption that legions of Americans reportedly harbor concerning divorce: It’s a seminal life event that is primarily relevant for younger couples.
That viewpoint is not really surprising, is it? After all, much that might emerge as turbulent and challenging in a marriage would seemingly feature most often in a union’s earlier years.
Money is often tight. Careers might be far from certain or steadily established. Material behavioral adjustments are often required of long-single individuals accustomed to going their own way. The arrival of children can complicate things.
In short, varied and cumulative stresses can pile up early and undermine marital traction within a few short years. Many 20- and 30-something couples cannot handle the strain, making their demographic the most divorce-prone among all groups.
That’s correct, isn’t it? Don’t divorce findings underscore that conclusion?
In fact, they don’t. And many readers of this established Nebraska family law blog might be surprised by what vetted divorce research actually does reveal.
A march to the front: baby boomers lead the way in divorce filings
That is a term that many people might not expect to see relevant to the divorce rate for people in their 50s, 60s and beyond.
And yet data from the prominent Pew Research Center and other groups readily confirm that relatively seasoned married couples spanning the country are ending failed marriages at a rate far exceeding any other age group.
“So-called ‘gray divorce’ is on the rise,” reports Kiplinger magazine in a recent piece on baby boomer decouplings.
Here’s an arguably stunning fact imparted by Pew researchers: Although the divorce rate for Millennials is now comparatively low when compared with prior years, it has “roughly doubled since the 1990s for American adults ages 50 and older.”
Why is that the case?
Key factors driving gray divorce are multiple and varied
Dissatisfied couples in Nebraska and nationally involved in longer-term marriages are ending their unions for many reasons, including these:
- An age-old stigma surrounding divorce has largely disappeared in today’s world (Kiplinger notes that it is now “easier to walk away” from a failed relationship)
- People are living longer, with reasonable expectations of a happy post-divorce life that might last for decades
- Empty-nest syndrome (raised children are now independent adults, eliminating many marital partners’ resolve to stay together for the kids)
- Pandemic realities and linked in-home isolation have underscored a number of marital problems that older couples just don’t want to deal with any more
The bottom line: Gray divorce is on the rise.
Older divorcing individuals might reasonably have a number of questions and concerns regarding the dissolution process and the securing of a fair divorce outcome. They can speak in candor and confidence to a proven and empathetic family law legal team.