The Divorce Rate for Older Couples Is on the Rise

The Divorce Rate for Older Couples Is on the RiseWhen couples get married, the last thing on their mind is divorce. Sure, it could happen to other people; but they never think that it will happen to them. They are so in love!

Despite overall divorce rates among couples in the United States steadily declining over the years from 944,000 in 2000 to 630,505 in 2020, divorces are becoming more common within a certain age group. And no, it is not millennials. In fact, millennials are actually holding off on getting married until they are a little older.

The United States Census Bureau found in a 2021 study that men nowadays averagely marry around 30 years old while women are closer to 28. These ages are up significantly since 1947 where men were averagely 23 and women were 20. It could be said that millennials are waiting a little longer to help ensure both people are more emotionally mature and are not rushing to find the perfect partner. So, where are all these divorces coming from?

Baby boomers are seeing a surge in divorces

A study that detailed later-in-life divorces recently divulged that 1 in 4 people over the age of 50 in the United States are splitting up. To put it into perspective, that number has more than doubled since 1990. Experts are calling these “gray divorces” as they are affecting the older generations of people aged 50-70 years old. What is truly surprising is that reasons like infidelity are not the root cause for the divorce, either. It sounds like the spark has fizzled out and more people wish to remain joyful for their remaining years rather than unhappy in a marriage.

Why these divorces are happening in record numbers

LGray divorces are not actually happening because of cheating or for any reason out of spite. In fact, gray divorces are actually happening after decades of marriage and catching a lot of partners off guard. But there is a reason for that. While younger generations are coming into marriage with this mindset already, the older generations are just now starting to understand. Some of the reasons most divorces are happening later in life are:

  • Living longer. When the life expectancy was shorter, it makes sense that many people figured they might as well ride out the rest of their marriage by the time they were in their mid-fifties. However, with people often living closer to their mid-seventies, if not longer, nowadays, many do not wish to spend another two or three decades in an unhappy marriage. That is quite a long time to spend while morose.
  • Not financially dependent. Back when baby boomers were getting married, it was more rare for women to go to work. Traditionally speaking, it was always the “man’s” job to bring home a paycheck for his family while women stayed home to raise children. Now that those stereotypes have been broken down, many women feel more comfortable to get by on their own. At the same time, men also do not feel the pressure to be providers for them. Now that these societal norms are broken down, divorce has become a perfectly viable option for those unhappy.
  • Stigma has been erased. Nowadays, it is not necessarily frowned upon for couples to divorce like it used to be. Even a few decades ago, a middle-aged couple getting divorced would have come along with a lot of small town gossip. The truth is that no one really cares anymore. Most people encourage their friends and family to be their happiest self, even if that means ending their marriage.
  • Cultural meaning has shifted. Marriage years ago truly meant having two people come together as one. However, now it is much more common and encouraged for each partner to be their individual self and have their marriage enhance their life—without relying on a marriage in order to feel happiness.

Keeping the spark alive

Hopefully we all know by now that the “spark” is completely metaphorical. You may not feel butterflies and see fireworks every time you are with your partner after years of marriage, but that does not mean you should not consistently put in the work. Make sure that you always instill trust, stay committed, and give consistent emotional support. If you are not doing those things, then you are not exactly giving your marriage a fair shot. Regularly talk with your partner about doing more of the things that make you happy or asking them what they would like you to do. Marriage is not a walk in the park, so you should not treat it as one.

What to do if you have already called it quits in Franklin

If you and your partner have already decided that divorce is the best choice, make sure you do not do it alone. Contact an experienced divorce attorney in Franklin, Tennessee who can help you navigate the path forward. Even if both you and your partner are handling everything civilly and you plan on filing a no-fault divorce, the process is not always as clear-cut as it seems. There are many caveats while going through a divorce, and it is important to ensure that you are making the best decisions for yourself, especially if you are already in or coming up on your retirement.

Whether you are freshly married or have been together for decades, going through a divorce is never either. No matter if you are initiating a divorce or if you are on the receiving end of one, the Franklin family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates can help walk you through it. Call our office at 615-977-9370, or submit our contact form to schedule an appointment in Franklin, Columbia, or Brentwood today.