Why are more older couples deciding to divorce later in life?

Posted by Lauren S. CohenMar 31, 20200 Comments

People seem to think that once a couple has spent a few decades together, their bond and marriage is permanent. However, recent trends in marriage and divorce have made it clear that older couples and those married for a significant portion of their life can and do choose to divorce.

In fact, so-called gray divorces among older adults have actually increased substantially in recent years. Over the last 25 years, divorce rates for those over 50 have doubled and for those over 65 have tripled. There are multiple reasons why more older couples are choosing to call it quits instead of sticking it out through their golden years.

Divorce has become more acceptable in society and various religions

Not that long ago, people who sought a divorce could have well faced judgment from both their social peers and members of their religious community. However, attitudes about divorce have changed. People are much less likely to judge or shun those who get divorced, leading more older couples to consider divorce.

People are living longer then they used to

It's possible for someone's expectations about life to change as the world around them evolves. Modern people live longer and potentially stay healthier than people did generations ago, which means that older couples can expect to spend many more years together during retirement. For some people, that may not seem like a positive thing, which could be a sign that a gray divorce could be necessary.

There are more opportunities for older adults to enjoy life

From travel opportunities geared specifically toward retired individuals to enrichment opportunities and exercise classes, there are so many ways for people to make the most of their golden years. Couples that have been married for a long time may not have the same idea of what an enjoyable or meaningful retirement looks like. If one partner has a desire for adventure and the other wants to stay close to home, the two may not be able to reconcile their different expectations for their golden years.

Regardless of the reason why older couples want to seek a divorce, it's important that they do so while understanding what will impact issues such as how the courts split up your possessions and the likelihood of alimony.