For most Americans, divorce rates have been steadily declining in recent years. When no-fault divorce laws first came on the books, the divorce rates skyrocketed, but that has clearly tapered off since and there has even been a decrease.
The only age group that this is not true for is those who are 50 and older. When people get divorced at this age, it is often referred to as gray divorce. Studies have found that gray divorce is still on the rise in the United States. Why is this?
A changing divorce stigma
In a lot of ways, this could be connected to the change in the stigma surrounding divorce. This was often thought of as such a negative event that it was nearly taboo, and so older couples may have grown up in that sort of social atmosphere.
That perception has drastically changed in modern times, however, especially because of the rise of no-fault divorce. As a result, many of these couples may have felt that they had to stay married for a long time due to social pressure. It is only now that they are discovering that they can choose the type of life they want, and seeking a divorce may help them achieve that.
There are many other adjacent reasons that factor in, such as increasing age life expectancy, becoming empty-nesters when the children leave the house, drifting apart over time and even running into financial stress. Many parents reevaluate their lives after the kids head off to college or as they prepare to retire. If you find yourself facing a divorce for any of these reasons, make sure you know all about your legal options.