Surprising reasons for gray divorce

People over 50 are getting divorced at higher rates than any other age group. There are several potential reasons for the dramatic increase in divorce rates among seniors in Pennsylvania, but researchers found some interesting trends when they interviewed individuals in this age group. Although the aging American population may play a role in the overall numbers, the findings were somewhat surprising.

Researchers speculated that because people in their 50s came of age in the era of hippies and social unrest, they might be likely to get divorced simply because the marriage was no longer fulfilling. They found out this was not the case at all. Rather, seniors were more likely to end the relationship because one spouse failed to meet the responsibilities they promised to the other. Marriages among people in this age group tend to end due to infidelity, emotional abuse, drug or alcohol use, mental illness or excessive spending.

Research showed that women who eventually get divorced in their 50s or later may have made several attempts to help their spouses overcome their problems before they decided they had reached the end of a marriage. These women may have endured years of emotional or verbal abuse prior to filing for divorce. Men, on the other hand, complained about differences in ideology related to raising children or how money should be spent and were inclined to leave if they were unable to resolve those differences.

Gray divorces tend to be complicated because older people often have more assets to divide. However, because their children are usually grown, there are fewer custody issues among this age group. Older individuals may choose to hire a divorce attorney when they are no longer willing to remain in their marriage. An experienced attorney may help them separate their marital assets and debts so that they can live the rest of their lives on their own terms.


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