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Getting Divorced More Likely Than Being Widowed

 Posted on June 21, 2016 in Divorce

gray divorce, Lombard family law attorneyAs more and more older Americans enter their so-called “golden years,” the chances increase that they will do so without a spouse by their side. For the first time, those who are age 50 and older are more likely to get divorced than to be widowed—a very telling sign of the times. In fact, the 50-and-up age group now accounts for about a quarter of all divorces, and the divorce rate for older people has doubled since 1990.

Causes of Gray Divorce

There are many factors that have led to the surge in older divorce—sometimes called gray divorce. Evolving social views on divorce and other elements of family law has all but removed the stigma from dissolving an unhappy or unhealthy marriage. Older people are also living longer and healthier than in previous generations, meaning that even at 60, a person may have 30 more years to live—years that he or she does not want to spend in a bad relationship. Women, in particular, have become more empowered to seek happiness and not to settle for what is just familiar.

Many older individuals are also finding themselves alone with their spouses for the first time in decades, as their children have grown up and moved out of the family home. Empty-nesters often realize that they are no longer in love or happy with the person they married, or that the pressures of life have driving the couple apart.

The rise of remarriage has a role to play in increasing the divorce rate among older married people. Statistically, second, third, or fourth marriages are more likely to end in divorce, and those who are 50 and older are more likely to get remarried.

Unique Divorce Concerns

Older couples considering divorce may find the process more complex than their younger counterparts. Those who are 50 and older have often been together for many years, accumulating a great deal of marital property, including homes, vehicles, business, and retirement funds. On the other hand, negotiating an equitable divorce settlement can be even more critical, as a disadvantaged spouse may have trouble becoming self-sufficient and recovering from a financial hit.

While older divorcing couples do not often have parental responsibilities to worry about, they will still want to consider how their split could affect relationships with their children and grandchildren. This, however, is less a legal concern and more of a personal one, but still an important thing to discuss.

Gray Divorce Professionals

If you are 50 or older and are thinking about divorce, contact an experienced Lombard family law attorney. The knowledgeable team at A. Traub & Associates will work with you to ensure that you fully understand the implications of your decisions. Call to schedule an appointment today at any of our three convenient office locations.


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