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Why are gray divorce rates rising?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2021 | Divorce |

Over the years, gray divorce rates have continually climbed. Gray divorce refers to any divorcing couple in their 50s or older. Many experts speculate on the potential reasons for this continued growth. 

What do the experts think cause the spike in rates? And what does this mean for you, as an older individual considering divorce? 

Societal changes drive divorce

Business Insider examines the rise in gray divorce rates. Experts agree that several factors contribute to the increase in these rates. First, societal changes make divorce much easier on individuals. In the past, a person – especially a woman – could end up ostracized from their community for divorcing their spouse. These days, almost everyone knows at least once divorced couple. 

Next, quality of life and overall life expectancy also increases alongside gray divorce rates. The implication is that people used to stay with spouses they felt uncomfortable with due to their age. Many felt it was too late to start over again. These days, plenty of people live well past their 80s. Many meet second spouses in their 50s, 60s or even later. Because of this, there is less draw to sticking with a spouse you no longer click with. 

Financial risk poses less threat

Increased life expectancy also means you have more time to get back on your feet financially. The loss of retirement, shared assets and other financial gain stopped many people from divorce before. These days, it is never too late to pick up where you left off and continue thriving in your 50s. 

The implication of increased gray divorce is up for debate among experts. However, it allows many individuals to obtain a happiness they may not have had access to before. This could extend to you, too.