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Photo of Attorney Pruitt seated on a tall stool

What is causing the increase in gray divorces?

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2021 | Divorce

Since 1990, the rate of gray divorces among people over age 50 in Texas and around the country has more than doubled. While this sharp rise might seem shocking, there are several reasons that explain the increase. The social stigma surrounding divorce has decreased, and people are living longer and might be less willing to remain in unhappy marriages when confronted by the thought of living for many more years. Here are a couple of other factors that likely contribute to the increase in gray divorces.

Postponing divorces

Many couples choose to stay in unhappy marriages to provide a role model for their children. They might believe that it is better to show their children that couples can remain together rather than going their separate ways while they are raising their children. Some couples with children also might not be able to afford all of the expenses associated with raising children on their own and choose to remain together for financial reasons. Couples that do not have children might also choose to stay together for financial reasons despite feelings of dissatisfaction and unhappiness.

Second or subsequent marriages

Second or subsequent marriages are much likelier to end in divorce than first marriages. When people have gone through divorces before, the idea of doing it again might not seem as scary. Many people in the 50+ demographic have been married more than once, and they might be more willing to end their marriages when they already know what the experience is like and what they might expect.

No matter why a divorce might happen, people over 50 might face special challenges when they end their marriages. Since they are closer to retirement age, they will not have as much time to save for retirement as they would if they divorced while younger. Older adults who choose to divorce may also have complex asset division issues that might need to be addressed. An experienced family law matters attorney can help clients understand whether a divorce makes sense and how they can best protect their interests if they choose to move forward.