Late-Life Divorces Are Becoming More Common

Realizing that your marriage may be coming to an end is difficult at any age. But many people view their post-divorce lives as a chance at a new beginning, and it appears many people in their 50s, 60s, and even 70s are starting to view it that way, too.

Divorce Trends in the U.S.

Late-life divorce has grown increasingly common since 1990. A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that the divorce rate for people age 50 and older more than doubled between 1990 and 2015, rising 109 percent.
In 1990 only five out of every 1,000 people age 50 or over got divorced. By 2015, that number had doubled to 10 out of every 1,000, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau. And among people age 65 or older, the divorce rate nearly tripled, from 2 out of every 1,000 people in 1990 to six out of every 1,000 in 2015.

Why Might This Be Happening?

While the rising frequency of so-called “gray divorce” probably cannot be traced to any single reason, there are a few possible causes that may be driving it.
Rene Stepler, writing for Pew Research about the study, says the trend is partly driven by the fact that most people in this age group are Baby Boomers, many of whom married young, got divorced once, then remarried and are now getting divorced again. “Their marital instability earlier in life is contributing to the rising divorce rate among adults ages 50 and older today, since remarriages tend to be less stable than first marriages,” Stepler writes.
Stepler continues, noting that the divorce rate for adults ages 50 and older in remarriages is double the rate for people who have been married only once (16 vs. eight per 1,000 married persons, respectively). In fact, 48 percent of people age 50 and older who divorced in 2015 were on marriage number two or more.
We can also reasonably infer other possible causes for the divorce trend among older people. For one, as people live longer, they may be discovering that they do not enjoy the prospect of remaining in an unfulfilling marriage for perhaps decades as they live into their 80s or possibly beyond – there appears to be less concern over “keeping up appearances” than there used to be. Additionally, compared to earlier periods in history, people are waiting longer to get married for the first time, which may be pushing the average age of divorce higher.

The Right Texas Divorce Lawyer Can Help

Older people realize that making the most of the golden years is important, and a marriage that’s run its course can hinder the enjoyment of these later years. Given the complexity of the issues that older couples may face when they do decide to go their separate ways, it is important to have the assistance of an experienced Texas divorce attorney as you go through the process.
I have handled very complex divorces for decades. I am patient, understanding, and most of all, I know Texas family law inside and out. I would appreciate the opportunity to help you with your late-life divorce. Contact the Law Offices of V. Wayne Ward in Fort Worth if you have any questions.